Jack Smith Opposes Trump Motion for Televised Trial

By Jerry McConway, updated on November 14, 2023

Even though federal courtrooms are typically off-limits to TV cameras, the Trump legal team had requested that the case being brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith be televised.

Smith has now responded to the request, saying that he opposes the motion because he believes it would create a "carnival atmosphere" for the trial.

Talking Points

  • Trump's media request
  • Jack Smith responds
  • Analysis

Trump and the Media Request TV Access

When the trial date was first announced, NBC Universal and other media companies had requested the court allow the trial to be televised.

This would go against the accepted policy that TV cameras stay out of federal courtrooms, but this is not a normal case.

Trump's legal team backed that idea, stating:

"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."

Jack Smith Responds

Smith, as expected, responded that he did not want to see the proceedings on national TV.

His legal team stated:

"The defendant's response does not cite a single rule or case in support of his position, because there are none."

The prosecutors are right in this case because the request was more about Trump wanting the American people to be able to see the evidence presented in real time, still claiming the election was rigged and stolen from him.

His legal team did not actually cite a precedent or actual legal reason why the proceedings should be televised.

Prosecutors concluded:

"The Court should decline the defendant's 'demand'... that he be placed beyond the rules and above the law.

"And it should avoid the spectacle—and attendant risks of witness intimidation—that the longstanding rules against courtroom broadcasting are designed to avoid."

Analysis

While understanding the accepted policy is for TV cameras to be banned from federal courtrooms, this is an unprecedented case.

We have a former president of the United States on trial for objecting to the results and exercising his First Amendment rights.

Some huge constitutional questions have to be answered in this trial and while I am sure Trump's attorneys would ham it up for the cameras, as would Trump, this would be an amazing opportunity for Americans to see our justice system in action through a lens they rarely have the opportunity to witness.

While I would love to see this trial televised, the judge is not exactly friendly to Trump, so don't expect a ruling in his favor.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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