Daniel Goldman on Prosecuting Trump – Vanity Fair

Hagan: Did you like Donald Trump when you met him?

Alex Holder: It’s funny, that’s the first I’ve heard that question. Look, my interaction with the Trump family, always from a personal point of view—my own personal interaction with them was pleasant and professional. They would turn up on time, the interviews weren’t canceled. The only time it was canceled was with the president on Air Force One. And then he had, uh, an important phone call at that time. But other than that, no, these interviews happened as they were scheduled. And as I said, they were pleasant and professional all the way through. As to whether or not I agree with the things they said, I mean, that’s a different question. Do I like Donald Trump? I don’t know if I can answer that question. Well, I mean, in the last few hours, he hasn’t been particularly—well, his people are saying things that aren’t true. So I’m not liking that.

Hagan: Right. Well, welcome to a very large club of people who they used to like and who they no longer like.

Holder: I felt like I got some sort of honorary membership or something for that.

Hagan: My understanding is that on January 6 proper, that day, you were not in the Oval Office with the president, you were actually outside. Where were you? What were you filming?

Holder: We were filming the rally at the Ellipse and then all day from the rally all the way through to the events that took place outside the Capitol…We were filming the speeches and the rally from the press pen, and obviously I had footage of the event itself.

I mean, to be honest, I predicted that that was going to happen the night before. And so we had some preparation, and we planned what we would do if things moved in that direction. And so I think we were, say, slightly more prepared.

Hagan: Why did you think that?

Holder: Because January 6 didn’t happen in isolation. And it was, in some ways, sort of the horrific but inevitable conclusion to the events that had been taking place throughout, from the start of the campaign all the way through until that day. There was clearly a tone of belligerence, and of rhetoric, coming from the Trump campaign. And then obviously, when you add to that the former president saying that the election was rigged and that there was a sort of serious issues with it, it’s not surprising when you tell 75 million people that their vote didn’t count that [there] would be a very significant reaction. And so…to me, it was the culmination of that, all of this, of this process.

Hagan: Yeah, well, a lot of people were shocked that had happened. But you had a sense that there was potential violence on the horizon because of the rhetoric you’d heard, and you’d been up close to it. You weren’t just watching it on television like the rest of us. You were actually in there and seeing the key figures and their crowds. Is that why you had a greater sense than maybe some of us that this was on the horizon?

Holder: Sure. And you know, when the president of United States sits down in the White House and sort of tells me that there was no way “that guy”—he’s referring to President Biden—got 80 million votes, and then they start saying how we need brave judges and start talking about the irregularities, the alleged irregularities in Georgia, and the reason for them are because the Republicans there are too scared to listen to him and what his position is as to how to resolve the fact that he lost in that state. You know, this plus the things that he’s saying publicly at the time, you know, at rallies, I mean, it’s just like, if there wasn’t an event like that, that took place in January 6, it would have been actually, I would say, most surprising in a sense.

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