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Exclusive: Chairman Thompson Says Classified Tapes House Speaker Turned Over to Fox News Have ‘Serious National Security Implications’

Mississippi Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson revealed that some of the 41,000 hours of video footage from the January 6, 2021, insurrection that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) turned over to Fox News included classified material that could threaten national security.

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Mississippi Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson
Mississippi Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson

By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire

Mississippi Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson revealed that some of the 41,000 hours of video footage from the January 6, 2021, insurrection that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) turned over to Fox News included classified material that could threaten national security.

In an exclusive 65-minute interview with Let It Be Known, a live daily news show put on by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, Thompson, the head of the January 6 Commission, said he wanted to see what document McCarthy signed with Fox News to transfer the footage.

“There are serious national security implications, a lot of what we saw and did not share with the public as a committee,” Thompson said in a no-holds-barred discussion with Black Press reporters on the program.

“There are safeguards in place, and some of this material is privileged,” he continued.

“You can’t just open the store and let someone come in and clean it out. We want to see what document was executed for that transfer of information. I chaired the [January 6] committee, and I can tell you that there is clearly information in there that we choose not to put in the public arena because of its sensitivity.”

The bold and unusual move by the House speaker of handing over such information reportedly comes after McCarthy faced intense pressure from his right flank to relitigate the work of the House select committee.

While it took an unprecedented 15 rounds of voting for McCarthy to win the speakership, one of the reasons Republicans relented was because he vowed to hold hearings on the Capitol riot.

Thompson noted that the cause for alarm rose further when McCarthy gave the classified information to Carlson, the most outspoken Fox host, to promote the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

“You turn the tapes over to a guy who was the cheerleader of lies being told, and even when he knew what he was saying was wrong, he kept saying it,” Thompson railed.

“I don’t know what it means from a journalistic standpoint, we can have differences of opinion, but when facts say something different and are irrefutable, and you try to promote alternate situations, that’s not journalism,” he continued.

“You turn this kind of information to these people who have been proven in a court of law not to tell the truth about a subject they had already acknowledged in court. Fox News has turned this information over to the courts in a lawsuit, and now that same Fox News has access to information about January 6. The speaker should have said, ‘I can’t let you have this.’ But he did.”

While Thompson doesn’t expect McCarthy to pay the price for his action, he stated his belief that he, a Democrat and African American, most certainly would have had it been him who turned over classified information.’

“I, and every other member of Congress, take an oath that you are not supposed to release that kind of information,” Thompson declared.

“If you do, you have violated the oath of office and broken the law.”

Thompson, who led the investigation into the January 6 insurrection, called it challenging to work with Republicans like McCarthy, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and others.

“I think Speaker McCarthy, because of his challenge to become speaker, made so many off-the-record commitments to become the speaker that he can’t say no to certain people,” Thompson asserted.

“He can’t say no to Marjorie Taylor Greene or some of those other folks. So, it took him too long to become the speaker. Every time a vote was taken, they [negotiated, and ultimately McCarthy got the number he needed. Still, it’s clear that he had to give up all authority and power inherent in a traditional speakership to get [the job].

“So, I’m not surprised he gave this information to Fox News. They’ve been in his corner promoting an alternate reality, which is part of the payback to the Fox Network.”

Thompson said politics are far different today than in previous times.

While many of his colleagues believe in the rule of law and that America is a nation of laws, Thompson said some in Congress differ substantially.

“Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted that there should be a national divorce, but that’s the Civil War. That’s the 2.0 version of divide and conquer or us versus them,” Thompson insisted.

“What we try to do is based on facts and to promote the truth,” he continued.

“A lot of our colleagues could give a tinker’s damn about the truth. I’ll celebrate 30 years in this institution in a couple of months, and I’ve never seen it this partisan, and I’ve never seen the lack of respect I see now for the institution.”

Thompson also revealed for the first time how challenging, and life-threatening serving on the January 6 Commission was.

“Every member ended up with a security detail,” Thompson offered.

“The moment they landed in Washington, the Capitol police would meet them at the airport and be with them until they got back on the plane.

“When you went home, another detail would meet you and be at the house until you returned to Washington. Based on the threat level, they assessed and looked at social media postings. We had folks crazy enough to call the office. So, they gave everyone a detail. It was also what was being said. People were talking about family members. You can pick on Bennie Thompson but leave my wife, daughter, and grandchildren alone. It was a challenge.

“We had witnesses we wanted to talk to, but they were afraid. So, for a couple who testified, we moved them out of their apartments before they testified and put them in undisclosed locations.

“We were concerned. After they testified, they left town the same day. It was something that the annals of history, over time, will tell you that we went through.

“But we told everyone that they were welcome to be a witness in public or in private, but under oath. If you lie to us, we will charge you with perjury.”

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Opinion: Will Verdicts Help Black Voters See the Truth?

The news of Trump’s historic 34 guilty verdicts are about a week old. Has it sunk in that the man who insists on being the Republican nominee for president is the former president known officially as CFDT34? If the name sounds like a dangerous radioactive isotope, it is — to our democracy.

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CFDT34 is my coinage of a new acronym that we all should adopt. It’s shorthand for “Convicted Felon Donald Trump,” with 34 being the number of criminal counts of guilt.
CFDT34 is my coinage of a new acronym that we all should adopt. It’s shorthand for “Convicted Felon Donald Trump,” with 34 being the number of criminal counts of guilt.

By Emil Guillermo

The news of Trump’s historic 34 guilty verdicts are about a week old.

Has it sunk in that the man who insists on being the Republican nominee for president is the former president known officially as CFDT34?  If the name sounds like a dangerous radioactive isotope, it is — to our democracy.

CFDT34 is my coinage of a new acronym that we all should adopt. It’s shorthand for “Convicted Felon Donald Trump,” with 34 being the number of criminal counts of guilt.

We need to say CFDT34 aloud as a constant reminder. Too many Americans are in denial. Or just lying.

Especially, CFDT34 himself.

Trump insists it’s all a “fascist” witch hunt, but the verdicts were based on an avalanche of evidence. The defense failed to refute the statements of the National Enquirer’s David Pecker who admitted his role in the Trump campaign to catch, then kill, stories that threatened Trump’s candidacy.

The defense didn’t even attempt to explain Hope Hicks, an ally who delivered the damning testimony that Trump knew about the arrangement to pay off Daniels. Hicks was in tears telling the truth. The defense never countered.

And then there were the checks and invoices and ledger entries, that spelled out the whole scheme. The payments were lies, called “lawyer fees” but they really were reimbursements to attorney Michael Cohen who had used his own money to pay off Daniels.

Minor stuff? Not when done with the intent to violate election law. The payoff was intended to influence the election and it became an illegal campaign contribution as well.

And the hero is New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the African American man who led the prosecution. Bragg got justice for all voters denied the truth in 2016.

Contrast Bragg with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla). the key African Americans lying for CFDT34.

Scott and Donalds lack the courage to honor the rule of law. Rigged case, they say.  Never should have been prosecuted. Where was the crime?

All of it baloney.

Prior to the historic verdicts, there was some historic polling.

Black voters were seen as abandoning Democrats, with Biden scoring just 70% of the vote. Four years ago, Biden was at 81%.

CNN called the pre-verdict polling the best results for the GOP among Black voters since Nixon.

The age breakdown is more telling. Black voters aged 50 and up were about 85% for Biden. Those who recalled civil rights battles were holding steady for Democrats.

Among Black voters under age 50, a new divide was revealed.  A reported average of polls showed young Blacks were 27% for Trump, with Biden at 64%.

Nearly a third of young Blacks were for Trump prior to the verdicts. But what would young Blacks think now? Would they back a person like Trump, a man who comes with racist baggage like the Central Park 5 saga, and is now a convicted felon?

I haven’t seen new data yet. But with Biden and Harris stepping up their attention on the Black community, talking about economics and pocketbook issues, I’d expect a turnaround when young Blacks hear the lies and the overall hypocrisy among the GOP.

About the Author

Emil Guillermo, an award-winning journalist, and commentator has covered race and politics in Hawaii, California, and Washington, DC. He has worked in newspapers, TV and on radio was host of NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

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Oakland Post: Week of June 5 – 11, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of June 5 – 11, 2024

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New Car Reviews and Important Auto News

Get reviews of the latest new press cars driven and we update you on the most recent auto news of interest. Join our panel of auto influencers.
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