Trump’s allies were secured editorial input before the filmmaker was sued

Written by Javed Iqbal

Several people were told it was focused on Trump’s legacy and would be a flattering portrayal.

But 17 months later, the filmmaker, Alex Holderhas been summoned by Parliament’s select committee investigating the Capitol Hill uprising on 6 January 2021, and turned hours of his recordings. It has made some in the former president’s circle nervous, they told CNN, mainly because several do not remember the full extent of their comments.

Holder’s “Unfortunate” three-part documentary series about the 2020 election will be released on Discovery Plus, which is owned by CNN’s parent company, later this summer. The documentary includes never-before-seen footage of the Trump family on the campaign trail and their reactions to the election outcome.

Several of the interviews, including with Ivanka Trump, were conducted after Trump lost the election, but when he still contested it. Most of Ivanka Trump’s interview focused on her relationship with her father, in addition to a public comment on the ongoing legal challenges associated with the election. Others, including Jared Kushner and then-Vice President Mike Pence, also sat down for interviews. Donald Trump Jr. sat down for an hour with Holder about three weeks before the election, another source said. They tried to interview Donald Trump Jr. again, but never did.

A lawyer representing filmmaker Holder denies that Trumps gained editorial control over the final product.

“The Trumps did not request, and were not granted, any editorial control over the series. On the contrary, Alex Holder initially said he wanted full editorial control. Trumps also did not request any contractual right to control, or even notification, so there is no one, “Russell Smith said in a statement to CNN.

Now there is some concern among certain figures about what was said on camera as hours of footage have been reversed. A former aide downplayed the likelihood that something relevant was said to the committee.

A person familiar with the matter said the interviews were orchestrated by Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, who left the administration in 2019 but remained in close contact with top officials. Greenblatt has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.

Holder sat for deposit with the committee Thursday morning behind closed doors.

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Javed Iqbal

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