Following up on his production team’s access to the surveillance footage, Carlson’s top-rated show aired the first footage Monday night. In that first installment, Carlson showed Jacob Chansley, the famous horn-wearing Trump supporter nicknamed the “QAnon Shaman,” walking around inside the Capitol building without being stopped.
“The tapes showed that Capitol police never stopped Jacob Chansley. They helped him. They acted as his tour guides,” Carlson told his audience. “Capitol police officers take him to multiple entrances and even try to open locked doors for him.”
Chansley pleaded guilty in November 2021 to a single charge, obstructing Congress’ certification of the 2020 presidential election. For that crime he was sentenced to 41 months, or three years and four months, in a federal prison.
Reacting to Carlson’s footage of Chansley, American Family Radio host Jenna Ellis told her audience there is more at issue than just the odd-looking “Shaman” walking the halls uninterrupted. Ellis, who is also an attorney, pointed out the federal prosecutor is obligated to share what is known as exculpatory evidence – anything that can help a defendant’s case - with the defendant’s attorney.
“So that really raises substantial questions,” Ellis reasoned, “about ethical improprieties on behalf of the government.”
That legal question is especially important considering Kimberly Paschall, the federal prosecutor who presented Chansley’s case, used video footage of him as evidence in court, according to a CNN story about his sentencing.
“That is not peaceful,” Paschall told the court, referring to footage of Chansley yelling as he entered the Capitol building.
Paschall also openly urged the federal judge, Royce Lamberth, to give Chansley the harshest sentence possible to set an example.
On Ellis' radio show, guest Vivek Ramaswamy agreed due process for the January 6 defendants deserves to be addressed. Those who protested peacefully, and those who didn't, have the same right to exculpatory evidence that could have helped their cases, he said.
"Because, if not, what does it even mean to have due process in this country?" Ramaswamy, a GOP presidential candidate, said. "That's really what sends chills down my spine."
Since that now-famous riot in and around the U.S. Capitol, Democrats rode that “insurrection” like a surfer on a wave. Donald Trump was blamed for instigating it because he urged his “Stop the Steal” supporters to protest, and 10 senate Republicans joined Democrats in impeaching Trump based on that claim. Not done with Trump, Democrats also claimed some Republican lawmakers were indirectly responsible, too, and tried to get them censured.
Not done with that, Democrats in the House also set up a special committee that milked January 6 even more but only after refusing to seat GOP members appointed by Republican leadership.
Meanwhile, the national media ominously reported America was under attack that day, and democracy itself was in peril, so the FBI learned the identities of hundreds of Trump supporters who went to the Capitol because family members and co-workers turned them in for participating in the “insurrection” of their country.
Democrats defending their 'story line'
Back on the air Tuesday night, Carlson shifted his focus to mock and shame Sen. Chuck Schumer, the House Majority Leader, for demanding Fox News executives punish Carlson for airing the January 6 footage. In a floor speech, Schumer dramatically accused Carlson of manipulating his audience.
“Any information – and [Schumer] did not dispute it was accurate – that damages the story line his party constructed, and used, must be squelched,” Carlson said of Schumer and his over-the-top accusations.
Carlson also skewered Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, for criticizing Carlson’s access to the footage.
“They’re all on the same side!” Carlson said of the bipartisan complaints on Capitol Hill.
Carlson was granted access to January 6 footage thanks to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who is now the target of Capitol Hill criticism this week for doing so.
Tim Graham, of the Media Research Center, tells AFN the Fox News host is a target because his show is challenging months and years of lies and exaggerations.
“What you have there are competing narratives,” Graham says. “But the problem you have is the liberal media always insists that its version of everything is the definitive version. And it cannot be challenged.”
It is bizarre to suggest, Graham adds, that letting the American public see more footage of January 6 is being called a threat to democracy.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated with comments Republican presidential candidate Vivek Romaswamy made on the "Jenna Ellis in the Morning" show.