House Democrats Urge Court to Televise Trump’s ‘Historic’ 2020 Election Trial

House Democrats Urge Court to Televise Trump’s ‘Historic’ 2020 Election Trial
Congressman Adam Schiff speaks at the "Just Majority" Burbank Press Conference in Los Angeles, Calif., on May 26, 2023. (Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Demand Justice)

Democratic lawmakers have called on the Judicial Conference of the United States to televise the upcoming trial of former President Donald Trump, citing the need for Americans to be accurately informed with “reliable” information about the case.

The Judicial Conference of the United States, formerly known as the Conference of Senior Circuit Judges, serves as the policy-making body for issues affecting the federal courts. Currently, the policy of the Judicial Conference allows judges to authorize broadcasting, televising, recording, or photographing for certain criminal proceedings.

Unlike in many state courts, cameras are generally not allowed in federal courtrooms.

However, in an Aug. 3 letter to Judge Roslynn Mauskopf—the Judicial Conference secretary—the group of more than 30 lawmakers said the broadcasting of court proceedings against Mr. Trump is needed to ensure that the public “fully accept the outcome,” of the trial.

“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 the witnesses,” the lawmakers wrote.

“It is imperative the [court] ensures timely access to accurate and reliable information surrounding these cases and all of their proceedings, given the extraordinary national importance to our democratic institutions and need for transparency,” the group continued. “Given the historic nature of the charges brought forth in these cases, it is hard to imagine a more powerful circumstance for televised proceedings.”

‘Unfiltered’ Facts

“We urge the conference to take additional steps, including live broadcasting, to ensure the facts of this case are brought forward, unfiltered, to the public,” they concluded.

Lawmakers who signed the letter included House Jan. 6 committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), among others.

NTD Photo
Former President Donald Trump walks over to speak with reporters before he boards his plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., on Aug. 3, 2023. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)

The letter came on the same day that Mr. Trump appeared before Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and pleaded not guilty to the four federal charges filed against him by special counsel Jack Smith relating to his alleged efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The former president has been charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding—the Jan. 6 certification of the electoral vote—and conspiracy against the rights of citizens.

‘Sad Day for America’

Prosecutors claim Mr. Trump knew his claims about winning the 2020 election were “untrue,” but “repeated and widely disseminated them anyway” in order to “make his knowingly false claims appear legitimate, create an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger and erode public faith in the administration of elections.”

Mr. Trump has said the case against him is politically motivated while his lawyers argue he was simply exercising his First Amendment right when he publicly questioned the results of the 2020 election.

The indictment (pdf) against him acknowledges that he had a First Amendment right “to speak publicly about the election and even to claim, falsely, that there had been outcome-determinative fraud during the election and that he had won,” but claims Mr. Trump “deliberately disregarded the truth.”

Mr. Trump called his arraignment a “sad day for America” when leaving the courtroom on Thursday.

“This was never supposed to happen in America,” he said. “This is the persecution of the person that’s leading by very, very substantial numbers in the Republican primary and leading Biden by a lot, so if you can’t beat him, you persecute him or you prosecute him. We can’t let this happen in America.”

The next hearing in the case against Mr. Trump is scheduled to take place on Aug. 28, however, Judge Upadhyaya has said the former president is not required to appear in person.

From The Epoch Times

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