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Nick Quested, filmmaker who followed Proud Boys, set to testify at first Jan. 6 committee hearing

Proud Boys leader charged with conspiracy
Proud Boys leader charged with seditious conspiracy for alleged January 6 crimes 01:37

Washington — A British filmmaker who interacted with the leaders of two extremist groups charged with the most serious of crimes stemming from the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol is set to testify before the House committee investigating the attack at its first public hearing on Thursday.

Nick Quested, of Goldcrest Films, confirmed to CBS News that will be called to testify as a witness during Thursday's primetime proceedings. Quested will likely face questions about the footage he shot both on the days leading up to Jan. 6 and on the day of the attack, when he followed a group of Proud Boys as they stormed the Capitol.

Quested and his documentary crew were thrust into the center of Jan. 6 probe after court documents revealed a meeting on Jan. 5, 2021, between Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, both of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged roles in the attack

On Jan. 5, Tarrio met with Rhodes in a D.C. parking garage, despite a judge's order to leave the District of Columbia following a previous arrest. According to a government court filing, Quested's documentary film crew was with the group inside the garage and picked up audio of an unnamed individual discussing the Capitol. Details of the meeting have so far been scarce. 

An individual familiar with the footage told CBS News it had been shot by a Goldcrest Film crew and that the House committee investigating the Capitol assault is in possession of the video.

On Jan. 6, about 100 members of the Proud Boys gathered at the Washington Monument at 6 a.m, according to an indictment filed Monday. Some later allegedly "charged toward the Capitol by crossing over a barrier meant to restrict access to the Capitol grounds." Dozens of alleged Oath Keepers have also been charged with some of the most violent conduct during the breach.

The news of Quested's participation in the hearing was first reported by the New York Times

Earlier this year, Quested said he testified for seven hours before the committee and discussed with investigators the relationship between Rhodes and Tarrio, which he documented in part using that footage.

"There was an animus between Rhodes and Tarrio," Quested previously recounted to CBS News, referring to the Jan. 5, 2021, meeting. "They were not on the same team. There was a trepidation to engage with each other, especially from Rhodes's point of view."

A review of the film footage released via court order at the request of a group of media organizations, including CBS News, showed Tarrio, Rhodes and their associates meeting in the garage and Quested's film crew standing away from the group. Tarrio had just been released from jail. The group talked quietly, but the audio was unintelligible.

Tarrio's attorneys have downplayed the meeting as a chance encounter before he departed Washington.

Neither Tarrio nor Rhodes is accused of actually storming the Capitol building on Jan. 6, but prosecutors allege they spearheaded their groups' planning and coordination ahead of the riot. Both have pleaded not guilty and await trial. 

In a statement to CBS News following the release of a new indictment against him on Monday, Tarrio's attorney said: "Mr. Tarrio will have his day in court and we will vigorously represent our client through this process. Mr. Tarrio looks forward to being vindicated of these allegations."

The other witness the select committee will hear from on Thursday night is Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, the first law enforcement officer injured by rioters storming the Capitol grounds. Edwards suffered a traumatic brain injury and has not been able to return to work since the attack, according to the committee.  

Scott MacFarlane contributed reporting.

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