We're about to show you surveillance footage from inside the United States Capitol. The images you'll see were recorded 26 months ago today on January 6, 2021. Until now, politicians have kept this tape hidden from the public. There is no legitimate justification for that and there never has been.
Yet the beneficiaries of that election continue to lie about what is now obvious. The real crime, they will tell you again and again, is not what happened on Election Day, 2020. The real crime is what happened two months later, on January 6, when Donald Trump led an insurrection against the duly elected American government.
To prove that claim and to divert attention from the details of the presidential election itself, Democrats in Congress impaneled what they called the House Select Committee on the January 6 attack. The point of that committee was to prevent Donald Trump from running for president again. In December of last year, committee members voted unanimously to refer Trump to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. Mission accomplished.
But what the committee did not do was explain what happened inside the Capitol on January 6. Three weeks ago, thanks to the new Republican speaker's office, we gained access to thousands of hours of surveillance video that help answer that question. The January 6 Committee had access to this very same tape and watched much of it. But as we're about to show you, committee members lied about what they saw and then hid the evidence from the public, as well as from January 6, criminal defendants and their lawyers. That is unforgivable.
Whatever you think of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, he rectified that crime, and we are grateful that he did. Before we show you the tape, a few words on the process. Our producers had unfettered access to the Capitol surveillance video. Neither the speaker's office nor our bosses at Fox News interfered in any way with our investigation.
Of the 40,000 or so hours of tape, most of it turned out to be irrelevant – static shots of empty rooms, in some cases far from the Capitol itself. To find relevant videotape, our producers were given use of Capitol computers with advanced mapping software. That made it easy to find what we were looking for. What we didn't have was access to facial recognition software, and that was significant.
For more than two years, we have wondered why some in the crowd that day who seemed to be inciting violence were never indicted for it. We assumed these were federal agents of some sort. We still assume that. And in fact, there were many examples of behavior we saw in those tapes that didn't seem to make sense: Men in civilian clothes holding doors open for protesters, escorting others to the Capitol, etc. We would love to know who these people were, but as of tonight, we don't know and because we don't know, we're not going to put their faces on the screen and suggest they were federal agents. That would be irresponsible.
So, there were many mysteries we could not solve. Among them, unfortunately, is the shooting of Ashli Babbitt. From the evidence, we have the publicly available evidence, it seems clear that Babbitt was murdered by a Capitol Hill police officer called Michael Byrd. Ashli Babbitt was unarmed. She was shorter in stature than average. She posed no conceivable threat to anyone, but beyond that, we can only speculate about what happened. There were no security cameras near the speaker's lobby where actually Babbitt was killed.
And one more thing: Virtually no one in Washington, Republican or Democrat, certainly not in the news media, wanted to see this tape released tonight. That's why it's remained hidden for more than two years. In recent weeks, the usual hyenas in Congress and on cable news have been howling about we are putting lives at risk by showing this tape to the public.
Given that these are the very same people who support open borders and defunding the police, it is hard to take their complaints seriously. But we do take security seriously. So, before airing any of this video, we checked first with the Capitol Police. We're happy to say their reservations were minor and for the most part, they were reasonable. In the end, the only change that we made was in blurring the details of a single interior door in the Capitol building. You're unlikely even to notice it when we show you, and we are confident it does not affect our reporting.
With that, here is the video. It doesn't answer every question from January 6, far from it, but it does prove beyond doubt that Democrats in Congress, assisted by Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, lied about what happened that day. They are liars. That is conclusive, and that fact should prevent them from ever being taken seriously again.
We're going to get inside with footage that shows you what was actually happening inside the Capitol. The footage does not show an insurrection or a riot in progress. Instead, it shows police escorting protesters through the building, including the now infamous "QAnon Shaman."