Trump joins the media in pushing for his case of federal election interference to be televised

(Lynne Sladky/Associated Press)

Trump joins the media in pushing for his case of federal election interference to be televised


November 11, 2023

Donald Trump is pushing for his federal election interference trial to be televised in Washington, joining media outlets who say the American public should be able to see the historic case unfold.

Federal court rules prohibit broadcast proceedings, but the Associated Press and other news organizations say the unprecedented case of a former president on trial on charges that he tried to subvert the will of voters warrants an exception.

The Justice Department is opposing the effort, arguing that the judge overseeing the case does not have the authority to override the long-standing national policy against cameras in federal courtrooms. The trial is expected to begin


4th of March

“I want this process to be seen by everyone in the world,” Trump said Saturday at a presidential campaign event in New Hampshire. The prosecutor wants to continue this travesty in the dark and I want sunlight.

Lawyers for Trump wrote in court papers filed late Friday that all Americans should be able to observe what they characterize as a politically motivated prosecution of the Republican front-runner for his party’s 2024 presidential nomination. The defense also suggested that Trump will try to use the trial as a platform to repeat his baseless claims that the 2020 election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden was stolen from him. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

“President Trump strongly agrees, and even demands, that these proceedings be fully televised so that the American public can see firsthand that this case, like others, is nothing more than a fabricated unconstitutional charade that should never be carried out. happen again,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

The request for a televised trial comes as the Washington case has emerged as the most powerful and immediate legal threat to Trump’s political fortunes. Trump is accused by his supporters of illegal plans to overturn the election results in the lead-up to the violent riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Trump has repeatedly tried to delay the trial date in Washington until after the 2024 election. But U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who was nominated to the court by the Democratic president


Obama seems determined to keep the plans as planned.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is handling the individual classified documents for Trump’s prosecution, postponed multiple deadlines in Florida in a way that makes it highly unlikely the case could go to trial in May as planned. Trump faces dozens of crimes under the Espionage Act. He has pleaded not guilty.

The news media wrote in their request to Chutkan last month that a lack of transparency could sow distrust in the justice system. They said this is especially dangerous in a case where a polarized electorate includes tens of millions of people who, according to polls, “I still believe the 2020 election was decided by fraud.”

It would be a great loss if future generations of Americans were forever denied access to the events of this trial, even years after the verdict, which would immeasurably improve the ability of future journalists and historians to accurately and meaningfully analyze this trial. Unique chapter in American history, Rebecca Blumenstein, chairman of the editorial board of NBC News, wrote in a lawsuit.

Some state courts allow cameras in the courtroom. The public has been able to watch the proceedings conducted by the judge overseeing the Georgia election case against Trump and 18 co-defendants.

Photographers have been allowed to take photos of Trump in court during his civil fraud trial in New York, but the trial was not broadcast.

The Justice Department has said that knowing there are cameras in the courtroom can influence lawyers and witnesses in subtle ways and lead to grandstanding. Prosecutors point to the increasing bitterness in the public debate and say witnesses who testify on camera can also be harassed or threatened. .

“When an image of a witness is captured on video, it is not just a fleeting image, but exists indefinitely,” the government said. If an appeal is filed and a new trial is initiated, witnesses who have been subjected to scrutiny and intimidation on social media may be unwilling to testify again.



The pandemic caused the federal courts to temporarily relax

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rules, allowing the public to listen to many actions via telephone or video conference. The U.S. Supreme Court has continued to offer live audio feeds of its arguments since the pandemic began.

The policy-making body of the federal courts adopted a new policy in September that allows judges to provide live audio access to non-judicial proceedings in civil and bankruptcy cases. This does not apply in criminal cases.

News media had previously asked federal court policy makers to revise the rules to allow broadcasts, at least in cases where there is an extraordinary public interest. The chairman of the advisory committee agreed last month to create a subcommittee to study the issue, although it is highly unlikely that any rules will change before Trump’s trial.

____Richer reported from Boston. Associated Press reporter Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.


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