Now We Know Exactly How Kevin McCarthy Sold Out Our National Security

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy
Youtube Screenshot

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Who gave the enemy the video blueprints for the most important building in the United States government?

And by enemy, I’m not just talking about Vladimir Putin’s favorite Fox News host, either. I’m talking about Putin himself, his new allies the Chinese, and any other foreign nation with designs on harming this country. By video blueprints, of course, I am referring to the 44,000 hours of security footage of the Capitol Building and the rest of the Capitol complex, including secret tunnels that were used to move members of the House and the Senate away from the ongoing insurrection on January 6 to Ft. McNair, the army post located about two miles south of the Capitol Building.

Ft. McNair is the site of the National Defense University, the National War College, and the Eisenhower School of National Security. There, in what has been termed a “secure location,” the leadership of the House and Senate huddled, trying to get in touch with the Secretary of Defense, who had the authority to mobilize the National Guard to defend the Capitol, a move that President Trump apparently refused to take.

The reason they were “spirited away” was that the building where they had been engaged in the process of certifying the electoral ballots and thus the election of 2020 in favor of Joe Biden was under attack. Exactly how the congressional leadership and a good number of ordinary members and senators got to Ft. McNair is unknown. It is generally known, however, that there are plans in place to move all members of Congress at a moment’s notice to a tunnel complex in the Catoctin mountains of Maryland near the site of Camp David, which is set up to house and take care of every key part of the U.S. government in case of a nuclear strike on Washington D.C.

So it was probably that top secret system of moving the Congress out of harms way that was used to move members of Congress on January 6, 2021 when all seemed lost in the early hours of the assault on the Congress.

That system of top-secret tunnels begins in the basement areas of the Capitol and the House and Senate office buildings, and doubtlessly beneath the Supreme Court, located just behind the Capitol on First Street SE., as the justices are also on the list of key personnel who would be removed from Washington to the tunnel complex in Maryland. It is unknown how far the tunnels extend from the Capitol and where they terminate, but Ft. McNair is likely the place. There are two enormous open fields there, one of them about four times the size of a football field, the other about six times that size, where a fleet of helicopters kept miles away at Joint Base Andrews could be used to ferry the members of Congress, the Supreme Court, and officials from other departments of the government away to Maryland.

Do you think the words, “national security” would apply to what we’re talking about here? How the most important figures of the U.S. government are protected should Washington D.C. – or the Capitol Building, for instance – come under attack would seem to be the very definition of a national security secret of the highest order.

And yet that is exactly what Kevin McCarthy gave away last week when he turned over the trove of Capitol security camera tapes to Tucker Carlson of Fox News. We don’t know exactly what’s shown on those tapes. Enough of information about what was on security footage became known during the House Select Committee hearings, such as images taken from tunnels under the Capitol. I think we can assume many more sensitive images are on the tapes given to Fox News.

A good indication of how much more is in these figures: the House Select Committee got access to 14,000 hours of security footage. Tucker Carlson has in his possession 44,000 hours of security footage.

CNN reported this morning that the subject of the 44,000 hours of Capitol security footage came up at a meeting of McCarthy’s leadership team yesterday, with all members present supporting McCarthy’s decision to release the tapes to a single media corporation and the host of a single show on that corporation’s most-watched hour on Fox News, Tucker Carlson. There were rumblings even within the top Republican leadership in the House about McCarthy’s decision.

At least one member of the leadership seemed to acknowledge second thoughts about McCarthy’s move by mentioning possible threats to national security in an interview with CNN. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chaired the House Select Committee, told CNN that McCarthy had “opened up a can of worms” when he gave away the tapes to Fox and said it could possibly “put the institution at risk."

Other Republicans yesterday talked about “parameters” that had been set on the use of the security footage by Fox. But such “parameters” went unmentioned by McCarthy last week when he announced that he was turning over the security footage of the Capitol complex taken on January 6. Nor have any parameters been discussed since then. What exactly the parameters are has not been released, either.

If you’re thinking that Republicans have suddenly begun to realize that McCarthy gave the Fox the blueprints to the chicken coop, well, amazingly enough, that might actually be happening. Especially since ten other media organizations, including CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, have filed Freedom of Information requests for the security footage, which is of course owned by the American people, not Kevin McCarthy. One or two of the media outlets have said they are prepared to file a lawsuit if their request does not produce the tapes in a timely fashion.

One way or another, a whole bunch of very sensitive information about the Capitol building is bound to find its way into the hands of people who shouldn’t have it. In fact, Republicans today announced that they are planning to make the security footage available to any January 6 defendants arrested for their part in the insurrection. That would include members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys who have been indicted for seditious conspiracy, some of whom have already been convicted. They are Kevin McCarthy’s idea of who should get to see the most secret parts of our nation’s Capitol Building. Nice, huh?

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Please consider subscribing to Lucian Truscott Newsletter, from which this is reprinted with permission.


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