Dozens of House Democrats have called for a live televised broadcast of the Jan. 6 criminal trial of former President Donald Trump, arguing that the historic nature of the case makes it imperative for the public to hear witnesses and see evidence in real time.
Three dozen lawmakers I sent the letter on Thursday to Judge Roslynn Mauskopf, who supervised the federal courts of the country. The group includes key members of the House Special Committee investigating the origins of the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, including Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)
“Given the historical nature of the charges brought in these cases, it is hard to imagine a more serious circumstance for televised trials,” the letter reads. “If the public is to fully accept the outcome, it is vital that they experience as directly as possible how the trials are conducted, the strength of the evidence presented, and the credibility of the witnesses.”
It’s unclear how likely a televised trial would be.
Usually federal rules Taking photos or video in a courtroom is prohibited, hence the sketch of Trump’s plea of innocence on Thursday. News organizations had asked for broadcasters to be allowed into the courtroom when Trump was indicted in New York in a separate case related to hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, but A judge denied those requests in April (a few photographers had a few minutes to take photos in this case).
Trump was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday on four federal charges. Prosecutors have accused the former president of a multifaceted conspiracy to stay in power after he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Special Counsel Jack Smith laid out the outline of the administration’s case in a 45-page indictment, claiming Trump knew his allegations of widespread voter fraud were false but was determined to stay in power by creating an “intense national atmosphere of distrust and anger”. ”
In their Thursday letter, lawmakers noted the ongoing distrust of the justice system and urged the Judiciary Conference to ensure information is quickly released to the public during Trump’s trial.
“Given the extraordinary national importance of our democratic institutions and the need for transparency, it is imperative for the conference to ensure timely access to accurate and reliable information on these cases and all proceedings,” the letter said.