Former President Trump's legal team asked a federal judge to allow his Washington trial over efforts to subvert the 2020 election to be televised, joining a coalition of media outlets who say the American public should be able to watch the case unfold in real time.
In a five-page filing brimming with political bluster, Trump's attorneys described the case as part of a "coordinated effort" to undermine the former president's 2024 White House bid against President Joe Biden.
"The prosecution wishes to continue this travesty in darkness. President Trump calls for
sunlight," Trump's legal team wrote in the filing. "Every person in America, and beyond, should have the opportunity to study this case firsthand and watch as, if there is a trial, President Trump exonerates himself of these baseless and politically motivated charges."
A number of news organizations, from The New York Times to Univision to the Associated Press, made the original push to televise the trial. However, they face an uphill battle to get any cameras into a federal courtroom as long-standing precedent bars televising the hearings or recording them in any fashion.
The media coalition argued that the courtroom rule relies on “outdated and long disproven views about recording and broadcasting trials," and asserted that a live stream allowing the public to view the proceeding for themselves would help to "secure public confidence in the outcome of the case.”
The Justice Department has opposed the push to broadcast the trial, arguing that U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the case, does not have the authority to bypass the nationwide policy against cameras in federal courtrooms.
Trump himself has advocated for the trial to be televised, reiterating Saturday at a campaign stop in New Hampshire that he wants the trial to be "seen by everybody in the world."
"President Trump absolutely agrees, and in fact demands, that these proceedings should be fully televised so that the American public can see firsthand that this case, just like others, is nothing more than a dreamt-up unconstitutional charade that should never be allowed to happen again," Trump's legal team wrote in the filing.
Some state courts operate under different rules about cameras in the courtroom. In Georgia, where Trump and 18 co-defendants were accused of attempting to subvert the state's election results to the former president's benefit, a judge has ordered that cameras are allowed to broadcast those proceedings.
In his ongoing civil fraud trial in New York, the former president has used media cameras propped in the court's hallways to his advantage by issuing fiery stump speeches about the trial's purported unfairness during courtroom breaks. A handful of photographers have also been allowed by the judge to document the trial threatening the former president's business empire for a few minutes at the start of each day.
The former president's federal trial over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election is scheduled to begin March 4.
The Associated Press contributed.