Jan. 6 Documentarian Maintains That Trumps Were Not Granted Any Editorial Control Over the Series

In response to a CNN report that “Trump’s allies” were promised editorial control over Alex Holder’s Jan. 6 documentary “Insurrection,” the British filmmaker released two statements — via his legal counsel Russell Smith — saying that “the Trumps did not request, and were not granted, any editorial control over the series.”

“To the contrary, Alex Holder said at the outset that he would have full editorial control,” the statement reads. “The Trumps also did not request any contractual right of control, or even review, so there is none.”

The statement was released shortly after Holder completed a closed-door deposition in front of the Jan. 6 House committee, which subpoenaed footage from the documentary as part of the ongoing investigation into the events surrounding that day. In a social media post Wednesday, Holder said he “complied with a congressional subpoena to turn over footage captured during his work on a documentary series surrounding the final six weeks of President Trump’s re-election campaign, as well as never-before-seen footage of the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.”

In another statement posted to Holder’s Twitter account on Thursday, he said, “I have provided the committee with all requested materials and am fully cooperating with the investigation. I have no further comment at this time other than to say that our conversation today was thorough and I appreciated the opportunity to share more context about my project.”

As Variety reported on Wednesday, the three-part docuseries will premiere on Discovery+ this summer. “Featuring never-before-seen footage of the Trump family on the campaign trail and their reactions to the outcome of the election, the docuseries will offer intimate and unprecedented interviews with Trump, his family and others who were in the White House,” a spokesperson for the streamer told Variety.

The New York Times reported that the subpoenaed footage comes out to about 11 hours of material, the contents of which are still unclear, though it includes interviews with Trump before and after the attack on the Capitol — meaning it could potentially aid investigators in understanding Trump’s state of mind during that time.

Holder also posted a short clip from the documentary on his Twitter account, with a caption that read “The Trumps did not have editorial control. Full stop.” The clip shows Trump preparing to be interviewed on Dec. 5, 2020 and making directorial requests regarding a small table beside him with a glass of water on it. He asks the filmmakers to move the table, then return it to its position with various changes as the filmmakers comply with his requests.

“I don’t think you want to have the water in the picture, right? You can take it off. Put it over there, Nick,” Trump says in the clip. “Can I move the table, as well?” a man asks while removing the glass of water. “Yeah, might as well take the table, as well,” Trump responds, before asking him to return both to their original place because “it’s missing something.”

Speaking to Variety, Smith said he hadn’t spoken to Holder since the congressional deposition, and did not know the exact reasoning for releasing that clip. He also said that the statement about editorial control “did not relate” to the deposition Holder took part in earlier on Thursday.

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