Tucker Carlson’s framing of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as a peaceful event was deceptive, at best. A new legal filing has given the Justice Department the chance to explain why.
Sunday’s filing by the DOJ came in response to Proud Boys member Dominic Pezzola’s motion to dismiss the government’s case against him, citing Carlson’s March 6 show on Fox News. Pezzola, who is now on trial, is charged with seditious conspiracy and other counts in connection with Jan. 6.
Recall that last week, Carlson aired Jan. 6 surveillance footage given to him exclusively by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in which he deliberately ignored the day’s violence. Pezzola’s attempt to use Carlson’s ploy to free himself of charges allowed the DOJ to effectively call out the Fox News host’s scheme.
Federal prosecutors noted that Carlson’s chosen footage “lacks the context of what occurred before and after,” as the host skipped over the violence perpetrated that day. What’s more, the evidence in Pezzola’s own case undercuts Carlson’s narrative that Jan. 6 was essentially peaceful. Prosecutors wrote in their filing:
The trial record is replete with video, audio, and testimony proving Pezzola’s egregious conduct on January 6, which included viciously assaulting a Capitol Police officer, forcibly taking that officer’s riot shield, threatening other officers, using the shield to shatter a window, and then ... engaging in a standoff with a Capitol Police Inspector mere steps from the Senate Chamber.
Of course, thanks to Carlson and his colleagues, Fox News viewers could be less likely to know about such violence that day. And given the alternate reality in which Carlson played his footage, the prosecutors’ response to the defense could also be applied to Carlson himself: “Once tethered to facts and reality, defendant Pezzola’s arguments quickly unravel.”