The Guardian reported late last week that Republican operatives Roger Stone and Ali Alexander didn’t just explore ways to keep Donald Trump in office after his defeat, they also allowed their efforts to be captured on film.
As Stone and Alexander mounted their political operation, their activities were recorded by two conservative filmmakers in the post-2020 election period and in the weeks before January 6. The access meant the filmmakers, Jason Rink and Paul Escandon, captured footage of the leaders of the Stop the Steal movement and their interactions with top Trump allies, according to a teaser for the documentary titled The Steal.
According to The Guardian’s report, which has not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, the documentarians filmed “key moments in the timeline leading up to the Capitol attack,” and caught “public and private moments at Stop the Steal events.”
Reading this, my first thought was that the news seemed familiar. Didn’t we already know about this documentary film crew?
Not exactly. One of the amazing things about the attack on our system of government early last year was the sheer number of the documentarians involved in capturing the events on camera.
When the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack launched its series of hearings last month, for example, one of the first witnesses Americans heard from was Nick Quested, a documentary filmmaker who’d been given exclusive access to Proud Boys extremists.
That project was and is distinct from documentary filmmaker Alex Holder and his related project, which also included footage of interest to congressional investigators. The bipartisan committee ultimately subpoenaed Holder’s footage and he complied.
There was also a film crew following professional conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and those documentarians filmed Jones walking with Trump supporters to the Capitol on Jan. 6 after the media personality attended Trump’s pre-riot rally outside the White House.
According to a Washington Post report in March, Christoffer Guldbrandsen, a Danish documentary filmmaker, also followed Stone as he worked to keep Trump in power. “The filmmakers shadowed Stone inside the Willard hotel in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, when pro-Trump rallies spilled into violence at the U.S. Capitol, and then as Stone lobbied for Trump to grant preemptive pardons to his high-profile allies and ‘the America First movement,’” the Post reported.
And now, according to The Guardian, there was yet another documentary crew in the mix.
As a Washington Post analysis joked last month, “Never before has a criminal event been so thoroughly recorded.”
The House Jan. 6 committee is holding its seventh public hearing on Tuesday, July 12 at 1 p.m. ET. Get expert analysis in real time on our liveblog at msnbc.com/jan6hearings.