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Federal Judiciary Policymaking Body Deals Blow To Dems Bid To Televise Trump’s Trials

The federal judiciary’s policymaking body updated its rules Tuesday to confirm that criminal trials — by extension, former President Donald Trump’s three federal cases — will not be broadcast live.

Under the updated rules, judges are permitted to provide a live audio stream to certain proceedings in civil and bankruptcy cases, but not in criminal proceedings. The announcement comes on the heels of a request by 36 House Democrats to allow former President Donald Trump’s trials to be televised.

“Given the historic nature of the charges brought forth in these cases, it is hard to imagine a more powerful circumstance for televised proceedings,” California Rep. Adam Schiff and his colleagues wrote in an Aug. 3 letter to U.S. District Judge Roslynn Mauskopf, Judicial Conference secretary. “If the public is to fully accept the outcome, it will be vitally important for it to witness, as directly as possible, how the trials are conducted, the strength of the evidence adduced and the credibility of witnesses.”

The Judicial Conference of the United States’ Tuesday update still expands public access to federal court proceedings, changing the pre-COVID policy banning livestreams entirely.

Trump’s Georgia racketeering case, however, may be televised, as Judge Scott McAfee of the Fulton County Superior Court issued an order on Aug. 24 permitting a live broadcast for court proceedings.

Trump’s attorneys argued against cameras in his New York case, saying it would create a “circus-like atmosphere.” His attorney in the Washington, D.C., 2020 election subversion case, John Lauro, said he would love to see live coverage to allow “the American people to see the truth.”

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