Trump Scores Early Court Win as Judge Issues Ruling to Prevent 'Circus-Like Atmosphere'
Former President Donald Trump’s legal team won a round Monday night after a judge banned most cameras from the courtroom on Tuesday when Trump is scheduled to be arraigned.
The former president was indicted last week by a grand jury in Manhattan and is answering the charges in court on Tuesday.
On Monday night, state Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan said that in trying to balance the historic nature of the charges with the dignity of a courtroom, he decided the keep electronics out of the court while the arraignment takes place.
Judge Juan Merchan denies media coalition’s request for video coverage of tomorrow’s Trump arraignment; allows 5 pool cameras to shoot still photos until arraignment formally begins—and that’s it. pic.twitter.com/SrMN9yO3SZ
— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) April 4, 2023
“That this indictment involves a matter of monumental significance cannot possibly be disputed,” Merchan ruled according to Politico. “Never in the history of the United States has a sitting or past president been indicted.”
“The populace rightly hungers for the most accurate and current information available. To suggest otherwise would be disingenuous,” he wrote.
That desire for news “must be weighed against competing interests,” including Trump’s safety and possible damage to the “dignity and decorum of the court,” he wrote, according to The Washington Post.
As such, Merchan did not agree to media demands for live video from the courtroom by banning “cell phones, laptops or any electronic devices,” Politico reported.
Five pool reporters will be allowed a few minutes to photograph the courtroom before proceedings begin, he ruled. Cameras are allowed in the courthouse’s hallways.
Trump’s lawyers wanted cameras banned.
“We submit that the media request should be denied because it will create a circus-like atmosphere at the arraignment, raise unique security concerns, and is inconsistent with President Trump’s presumption of innocence,” Trump’s lawyers said in their filing, according to CNBC.
“We don’t normally allow cameras in courtrooms, why make an exception now? To make a spectacle. They want that. We don’t,” Trump attorney Joe Tacopina told the New York Post on Monday.
Although the judge sought to control what took place inside the courtroom, protesters were gathering outside.
I’m here in NY to protest with my voice against the weaponization of the justice system on innocent President Trump, but the counter protestors are coming to commit assault that can cause audible damage to everyone’s ears including NYPD.
But Mayor Adams warns me by name!
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) April 4, 2023
Trump is expected to speak to the media in court hallways, one of his attorneys said, according to CNN.
“The president is resilient, upbeat, and is as determined as ever to fight off drivers of injustice,” attorney Chris Kise said, noting Trump will speak before and after his arraignment.
Trump is also expected to deliver a speech when he returns to his Florida home Tuesday evening.
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