U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Documentary filmmaker subpoenaed by House Committee investigating Jan. 6 riot

Incident Details

Date of Incident
April 5, 2022

Subpoena/Legal Order

Legal Orders
Legal Order Target
Legal Order Venue

Nick Quested, a documentary filmmaker, testifies on June 9, 2022, before the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol. Quested said he was speaking in compliance with a subpoena.

April 5, 2022

The U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol subpoenaed British documentary filmmaker Nick Quested for footage and testimony in mid-2022, according to The New York Times.

CNN reported that Quested, executive director and owner of Goldcrest Films, was embedded with the Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designates as a hate group, for months leading up to the riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Leaders of the Proud Boys were involved in the early clashes at the Capitol and five of them have been charged with seditious conspiracy.

In an interview with CNN, Quested said, “I spoke to the authorities in an interview beforehand, but when they were using my work in the way that they did, I felt it was only appropriate for them to subpoena me.”

Quested told CNN that recognizing that he had likely filmed numerous crimes being committed, he decided to turn the footage over to the FBI.

“I didn’t feel there was any journalistic jeopardy giving that to authorities,” Quested said.

Quested told Politico that he sat for an hours-long deposition on April 5, 2022. The documentarian also mentioned a possible second subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Quested, who gave live testimony at a hearing on June 9, did not respond to requests for additional information on when the subpoena was issued or what materials were requested.

The House Select Committee, established on June 30 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, Alex Holder, to provide footage and testify before the committee on June 15, 2022.

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