Bennie Thompson, Jan. 6 committee chairman, denies panel selectively edited Capitol footage

Rep. Bennie Thompson disputed accusations by Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson that the Jan. 6 Select Committee deceptively edited the thousands of hours of U.S. Capitol security footage.

The Mississippi Democrat and former committee chairman also claimed he was unaware of Jan. 6 defendant Jacob Chansley, the “Q-Anon Shaman” who was sentenced to almost four years in prison.

“I don’t know who he is,” Mr. Thompson said of Mr. Chansley, the protester best known for wearing a fur-horned helmet, exposing his tattooed bare chest and wearing face paint.

Prosecutors claimed that although Mr. Chansley was never accused of violence, he was the “public face of the Capitol riot” who went into the attack with a weapon, a flagpole topped with a spear tip.

The media portrayed Mr. Chansley as a violent individual, but the newly released footage showed he entered the Capitol through an open door on the Senate side with a group of people and was peacefully escorted by Capitol Police into the Senate chamber.

“Capitol Police officers took him to multiple entrances and even tried to open locked doors for him. We counted at least nine officers who are within touching distance of unarmed Jacob Chansley,” Mr. Carlson said.

Mr. Thompson also said it was “not true” that the committee selectively edited 14,000 hours of security footage to make the riot inside the Capitol seem more chaotic and violent than it was.

The charges of deception made by Mr. Carlson on Monday’s program included adding sounds of screaming people; withholding video of deceased Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick; and editing a clip to show Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, fleeing the Senate by himself, implying he was a coward.

“The committee released a video of him loping out of the building on the afternoon of Jan. 6 with a police escort. The tape became a staple on social media. Democrats laughed with derision,” Mr. Carlson said.  

“The surveillance footage we reviewed shows that famous clip was a sham, edited deceptively by the Jan. 6 committee,” he said.

“The actual videotape shows that Hawley was one of many lawmakers being ushered out of the building by Capitol Hill police officers, and in fact, Hawley was at the back of the pack,” Mr. Carlson continued. “The coward tape was a lie. One of many from the Jan. 6 committee.”

Mr. Thompson would not concede that Mr. Hawley was with other lawmakers while being escorted out.

He told The Washington Times that “I stand by the tape.”

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