Alex Holder, a British documentary filmmaker who had extensive access to President Donald J. Trump and his family ahead of and after the 2020 election, has emerged late in the House’s investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol as a new and potentially important witness.
Mr. Holder is testifying behind closed doors on Thursday morning before the House committee investigating Mr. Trump’s efforts to subvert the results of the election he lost. His deposition is taking place ahead of a separate public hearing by the committee on Thursday about Mr. Trump’s effort to install a loyalist to run the Justice Department in the closing weeks of his administration.
Mr. Holder’s footage — some 11 hours of it with the Trump family discussing the campaign and the election — was subpoenaed by the committee ahead of the interview.
Precisely what the footage shows is still unclear. But Mr. Holder interviewed Mr. Trump twice before the Jan. 6 riot and once after Jan. 6, meaning he potentially can speak to Mr. Trump’s state of mind and whether he made clear he knew he had lost the election.
The footage with the Trump family could also be revealing. The New York Times was shown a short clip of Ivanka Trump, the former president’s elder daughter, discussing her view of her father’s repeated false claims that the election was stolen through widespread fraud. The clip was played for The Times by someone with access to it.
The Themes of the Jan. 6 House Committee Hearings
That video was recorded on Dec. 10, 2020, after Mr. Trump had been making baseless claims about widespread fraud for weeks. In the clip, Ms. Trump said, “I think that, as the president has said, every single vote needs to be counted and needs to be heard, and he campaigned for the voiceless.”
She said that “a lot of Americans feel very, very disenfranchised right now, and really, question the sanctity of our elections, and that’s not right, it’s not acceptable”
“He has to take on this fight,” she said. “Look, you fight for what you love the most and he loves this country and he loves this country’s people, and he wants to make sure that their voice is, is heard and not muted.” Mr. Trump “will continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted and that’s what he should do,” Ms. Trump said.
The timing of the video, and her comments in it, are notable because she was shown in videotaped testimony before the House committee saying that she had “accepted” statements by Attorney General William P. Barr, including on Dec. 1, 2020, that there had been no widespread fraud.
To the extent that there is other footage with the Trump family discussing their view of the election, or the campaign’s efforts to fight Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, it could be significant to the committee’s investigation. Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the panel’s chairman, cited the access to the footage as a reason for delaying additional public hearings that the panel was expected to hold next week; those sessions have now been pushed into July.
The filmmaker was connected to Ms. Trump’s husband and de facto chief strategist, Jared Kushner, through Jason D. Greenblatt, a former lawyer for the Trump Organization who became Mr. Trump’s White House envoy to the Middle East. The documentary was envisioned as a legacy project for Mr. Trump and, by extension, his family.
But no senior campaign officials were told of it, and several were stunned when they learned it existed after Politico reported this week that the footage had been subpoenaed.
The footage was used for a series that is to be streamed by Discovery+ later this summer.