‘The American people have a right to know’: House Dems want Trump trials to be televised

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats don’t usually lobby to give former President Donald Trump more airtime on television, but they are willing to make an exception for his criminal trials in federal court.Led by Rep.

Adam Schiff, D-Calif.; Rep.

Gerry Connolly, D-Va.; Hank Johnson, D-Ga.; and Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., nearly 40 House Democrats signed a letter on Thursday to the Judicial Conference to ask the body to allow Trump’s federal criminal trials to be broadcast on television.The letter argued that increased public access to the court proceedings will be crucial for the health of American democracy.Addressed to Judge Roslynn Mauskopf, who serves as secretary of the Judicial Conference, the letter requested the Conference to “explicitly authorize the broadcasting of court proceedings in the cases of United States of America v.

Donald J.

Trump.”This artist sketch depicts former President Donald Trump, right, conferring with defense lawyer Todd Blanche, center, during his appearance at the Federal Courthouse in Washington, Thursday, Aug.

3, 2023.

Special Prosecutor Jack Smith sits at left.

Trump pleaded not guilty in Washington’s federal court to charges that he conspired to overturn the 2020 election.Unlike state courts which can authorize some trials to be televised, federal courts prohibit trials from being broadcast live on television.

As a result, the American general public has been unable to watch the proceedings from Trump’s arraignment in federal court in Miami and his arraignment Thursday in Washington.As the policymaking body of the federal court system, the House Democrats are hoping the Judicial Conference will decide to support broadcasting Trump’s federal trials due to the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the cases involving a former president who is running for election to the White House.”Given the historic nature of the charges brought forth in these cases, it is hard to imagine a more powerful circumstance for televised proceedings,” the letter stated.

“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.”Connolly told USA TODAY that the “judicial system must be accessible and transparent.””The American people have a right to know what is said in cases that concern us all,” Connolly added.

“As Donald Trump faces trial, I encourage the court to make the proceedings available for all to watch – it’s in everyone’s best interest to know the truth.”This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: House Democrats write letter asking for Trump trials to be televised

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