Trump backs requests for TV coverage of his federal criminal trial

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former US President Donald Trump leaves the courtroom after attending the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S. November 6, 2023. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit to support media requests for live television coverage of his federal trial on charges of conspiring to overturn the election results 2020 presidential election.

In his Friday night filing, Trump argued that prosecutors wanted the trial to take place “in the dark” in what he claims is a politically motivated effort by President Joe’s administration Biden to undermine his bid for re-election next year.

Trump is leading the pack of Republican candidates seeking the party’s nomination in the 2024 presidential election. Biden is expected to win the Democratic Party nomination for a second term.

Trump faces four criminal charges, including a federal court trial scheduled for March in which he is accused of attempting to defraud the federal government and obstructing Congress by knowingly spreading false claims of election fraud.

His baseless claims that the 2020 vote was rigged prompted thousands of his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to block Congress’ certification of his defeat to Biden.

In the latest filing by his lawyers, John Lauro and Todd Blanche, Trump approved media requests that U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan allow live television coverage of the trial.

“Every person in America and beyond should have the opportunity to study this matter for themselves and watch, if there is a trial, President Trump clear himself of these baseless and politically motivated accusations,” indicates the file.

It accuses special prosecutor Jack Smith’s team of violating Trump’s constitutional rights and attacks Chutkan for authorizing “these attacks,” thereby “placing the interests of his political opposition” above his legal protections.

“These proceedings should be fully televised so that the American public can see for themselves that this case…is nothing more than a made-up constitutional charade,” he said.

Smith objected earlier this month to media requests, citing a decades-old Federal Court rule barring the broadcast of criminal proceedings.

Television coverage could also potentially intimidate witnesses and jurors, Smith said in a Nov. 3 filing.

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