U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Documentarian subpoenaed by House Committee investigating Jan. 6 riot

Incident Details

SCREENSHOT

A portion of the subpoena issued to documentary filmmaker Alex Holder ordering him to produce footage from his coverage of then-President Trump’s reelection campaign and the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol.

— SCREENSHOT
June 15, 2022

The U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol subpoenaed British documentary filmmaker Alex Holder for footage and testimony on June 15, 2022.

Holder, the founder of AJH Media Group, began working on a documentary about then-President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign in September 2020, Politico reported. According to a statement Holder published on Twitter, he had “unparalleled access and exclusive interviews” with the Trump family and then-Vice President Mike Pence at the White House and Mar-A-Lago and behind-the-scenes access on the campaign trail and both before and after the insurrection.

Rolling Stone reported that several former officials in Trump’s reelection campaign told the magazine they had no idea that a documentary was being filmed during that period.

The subpoena orders Holder to produce raw footage from Jan. 6, 2021; interviews with Trump, Pence, Trump’s children and his son-in-law; and any footage of discussions of election fraud or election integrity around the 2020 presidential election.

According to Holder’s statement, he turned over footage in compliance with the subpoena on June 21, 2022, and will sit for a deposition on June 23.

“When we began this project in September 2020, we could have never predicted that our work would one day be subpoenaed by Congress,” Holder said. “We have dutifully handed over all the materials the Committee has asked for and we are fully cooperating.”

When reached for comment, the law firm representing Holder directed the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker to Politico’s coverage.

The House Select Committee, chaired by Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson, has now issued at least three subpoenas targeting journalists or their records. The committee subpoenaed freelance photojournalist Amy Harris’ phone records in November 2021 and ordered another British documentarian, Nick Quested, to provide footage and testify in early 2022.

Holder’s documentary, “Unprecedented,” is set to be released in three parts this summer, according to his statement.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected]