Alex Holder Trump Documentary Is Devoid of Jan. 6 Revelations - Rolling Stone
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Don’t Expect Any Jan. 6 Revelations From the Hotly Anticipated New Trump Doc

Alex Holder’s Unprecedented offers an inside look at the former president’s family dynamics, but not much new about his effort to overturn the 2020 election

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: A image of former President Donald Trump talking to his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is displayed as Cassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, is presenting its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: A image of former President Donald Trump talking to his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is displayed as Cassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, is presenting its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

An image of former President Donald Trump talking to his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is displayed as Cassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the Jan. 6 committee in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Unprecedented, the hotly anticipated documentary about Trump’s failed 2020 reelection campaign that has drawn the interest of the Jan. 6 committee, premieres Sunday on Discovery Plus. The three-part series offers viewers a compelling, inside look at Trump’s rise in politics, the internal dynamics of a family determined to create a dynasty, their optimism leading into the 2020 election, and the disastrous aftermath of their loss.

The series doesn’t, however, offer any new revelations about or revelatory footage of Trump and his inner circle before, during, and after the events of Jan. 6.

Unprecedented has drawn immense public interest since the Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed filmmaker Alex Holder in late June, requesting “raw footage” filmed by him or his team on Jan. 6, as well as footage of interviews from Sept. 2020 through the present with Trump, his adult children, Jared Kushner, and former Vice President Mike Pence. The committee also requested any footage in Holder’s possession “pertaining to discussions of election fraud or election integrity surrounding the November 2020 presidential election.”

Anticipation heightened as teaser clips were released, including one of Trump calling rioters “smart,” as well as a promo featuring the former president saying he’ll talk about Jan. 6. He ultimately doesn’t address much more than he did in the clips that were already released, though. Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric, and Pence all declined to discuss the day of the attack on the Capitol.

Holder’s crew was not with the Trump family on Jan. 6, instead chronicling the crowds of protesters, first at the “Save America” rally outside the White House, where an attendee insinuates to the camera that Joe Biden should have his throat slit, then later amid the chaos at the Capitol. Their camera captured the death of Rossane Boyland, who was crushed to death in the battle between police and protesters attempting to beach a capitol complex tunnel, and at one point a protester attacked Undocumented’s cameraman.

Holder did not reconvene with the Trumps during or after the riot, and told Rolling Stone last week that he didn’t return to the White House until he interviewed Pence six days later. The interview includes Pence reacting to a draft resolution asking him to invoke the 25 Amendment against Trump, but that clip was obtained by CNN late last month.

Unprecedented may not contain any new bombshells about Trump or Jan. 6, but its three parts paint a fascinating portrait of a family obsessed with their public image. Trump and Ivanka both repeatedly fuss over their on-camera presentation, with the former president at one point asking if they could “get rid of the orange” of his tan. 

The documentary places a lot of emphasis on the internal struggle between the Trump siblings to win the favor of their father, and the role they have played in building his father’s political base. Of the three Trump children through his marriage to Ivana, only Don Jr. seems committed to a future in politics. 

Holder explained to Rolling Stone that in making the documentary he wanted to understand who the Trumps “actually are.” He believes the family agreed to the project because of a hubristic belief that the 2020 election was a sure win. ”Their take was, ‘Alex doesn’t have any skin in the game politically, he’s British,’ and also the fact that they were absolutely convinced they were going to win the election,” he says.

The documentary is becoming available to the audiences following an incendiary series of revelations in public testimony to the Jan. 6 committee. In her testimony late last month former White House aide Cassify Hutchinson revealed the chaos in the West Wing on and in the days leading up to Jan. 6. Hutchinson was reportedly the subject of intimidation attempts by Trump allies looking to sway her testimony in favor of the president. The pressure on witnesses, coupled with violent threats made against the committee, led Discovery Plus to provide Holder with a security detail following the subpoena from the committee. He confirmed to Rolling Stone that he has received threats. “It’s unfortunate but my life changed about two and a half weeks ago, literally from one moment to the next,” he says.

Sources close to the president and his advisers told Rolling Stone last month that they were blindsided by the revelation that a documentary with in-depth access to Trump’s inner circle was even being made. “What the fuck is this?” one source said, with another declaring it was a “terrible idea” and insisting they were ignorant of the project. Holder told Rolling Stone that he and his cameras “were very visible” when following the Trump family at campaign events, and made no secret about the fact that they were filming a documentary. 

The Jan 6. committee isn’t necessarily interested in what the public will see on Discovery Plus. They requested everything he shot, including what didn’t make it into the film, and he has likely been questioned about interactions and conversations he may have been privy to throughout the scope of their work. Holder has revealed glimpses into what may be sitting on the cutting room floor, including an Air Force One interview with President Trump that was canceled due to an unscheduled phone call with Vladimir Putin

Holder has indicated that he and his team are cooperating fully with the committee’s investigation, and it is possible he may testify before the committee in the future. Holder says he “was not surprised” by the committees subpoena, telling Rolling Stone that “there’s lots of material that for whatever reason didn’t make it” into the final cut and and affirmed he will “continue to do” whatever he can “to comply with their request.” 

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