U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Man charged with assaulting documentary filmmaker during Capitol riot

Incident Details


U.S. Capitol Police body camera footage from Jan. 6, 2021, shows journalist Nick Quested, far right in a tan jacket, holding on to his camera while a man pulls on it. The assailant was later identified and arrested by the FBI.

January 6, 2021

Documentary filmmaker Nick Quested was recording the riot in and around the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when a man struck and pulled his camera, causing Quested to stumble down the stairs.

According to an FBI affidavit dated June 6, 2023, a journalist identified by the initials N.Q. was documenting the riot from the steps of the Capitol when a man swiped up and grabbed at the journalist’s camera and then pulled it, causing the journalist to stumble down the stairs. Politico confirmed that the journalist targeted was Quested.

The incident was captured in a Capitol police officer’s body camera footage from the riot. The recording shows (starting at approximately 3:10) Quested catching his balance and following the man down the stairs. It appears that a second man stands between them as Quested confronts the man who grabbed his camera. Seconds later, when Quested walks back up the stairs, a press badge can be clearly seen on a lanyard around his neck.

The Department of Justice announced that the alleged assailant, identified as Peter G. Moloney, was arrested on June 7, 2023. Moloney was charged with eight counts, including assaulting Quested and AP photojournalist John Minchillo, as well as multiple Capitol police officers.

Moloney is scheduled to appear for an initial hearing on June 20.

Quested did not respond to a request for comment. The filmmaker, executive director and owner of Goldcrest Films, was embedded for months leading up to the riot with the Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designates as a hate group. The British documentary filmmaker was subsequently subpoenaed by and testified as a witness before the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol breach.

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