The special counsel’s office is pushing back against Donald Trump using his Washington, DC, federal criminal trial as a spectacle, after Trump’s lawyers told the court this weekend he’d support cameras in the courtroom.
Trump’s bid to open his DC federal criminal trial to cameras is “a transparent effort to demand special treatment, try his case in the courtroom of public opinion, and turn his trial into a media event,” prosecutors wrote in a new court filing on Monday.
They also told the court that broadcasting the trial could create a spectacle that may invite witness intimidation.
Several national media outlets, including CNN, have asked the federal judge overseeing Trump’s 2020 election subversion criminal case to consider allowing the proceedings to be aired.
Federal courts unilaterally bar television cameras, but the press has argued for more transparency into the criminal proceedings—especially given the historic nature of Trump’s case—as a way to grow public confidence in the judicial system and to combat disinformation around the election and the case.
Trump also has seized on the opportunity for cameras, saying it would let him expose what he believes is a wrongful prosecution. His trial is set to begin in federal court in Washington, DC, in March.
The Justice Department is opposed to having cameras in the courtroom. In their filing on Monday, the prosecutors say that the press is still able to report minute-by-minute updates from court, including at some of the most high-profile terrorism and seditious conspiracy trials in recent decades.
But no images from inside the courthouse except for hand-drawn art exist of those proceedings, and what is said in the room is only recorded as written transcripts.
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