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The documentary filmmaker subpoenaed by the January 6 committee says he never gave Trumps 'editorial control' over election film

Jun 24, 2022, 03:27 IST
Mark Humphrey/AP
  • A documentary about the Trumps has aides nervous about exclusive, subpoenaed interview footage.
  • Trump allies say they were promised editorial input, CNN reported, but the filmmaker disputes that.

Former President Donald Trump's allies claim British filmmaker, Alex Holder, granted them editorial input over a documentary giving an inside look into the first family during the 2020 election, CNN reported Thursday.

Holder appeared to dispute that claim in a tweet later on Thursday.

"The Trumps did not have editorial control," Holder's tweet read. "Full stop." He included a video clip of Trump apparently preparing for an on-camera interview and deciding whether or not a side table with a glass of water on it should be in the shot.

Holder, the filmmaker behind "Unprecedented," a three-part documentary series premiering on Discovery+ later this summer, was subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. He was deposed by the committee in private on Thursday morning, just one day after Discovery+ released a teaser trailer for the film. The existence of this never-before-seen footage was first reported by Politico, blindsiding Trump's aides.

The documentary features those closest to Trump, including his daughter Ivanka Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former Vice President Mike Pence discussing the campaign trail and road to re-election.


The short trailer shows Trump being asked if they could talk about January 6, to which he replies, "Yep."

Russell Smith, Holder's lawyer, affirmed that those interviewed for the film were not promised any "editorial control" over the final production.

"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 Trumps also did not request any contractual right of control, or even review, so there is none," Smith told CNN in a statement.

Smith told Variety he hasn't spoken to Holder since his deposition Thursday morning, so he doesn't know exactly why Holder tweeted the clip, but it "does not relate" to his statements made before the committee.

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