Joe Maiorana/AP Photo
- Donald Trump’s lawyers asked to keep cameras out of the courtroom for his arraignment tomorrow.
- They want to avoid “a circus-like atmosphere” for Trump, they said.
- Trump has called for protests, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene plans to host a rally outside the building.
Attorneys for Donald Trump told a New York City judge on Monday — ahead of the indicted former president’s arraignment — that they don’t want cameras in the courtroom because it will “create a circus-like atmosphere,” CNN reported.
Trump’s lawyers said in a letter to Acting New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan that he should deny the request by news outlets, including Insider, to allow cameras in the courtroom for Trump’s Manhattan arraignment on Tuesday.
“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 legal team wrote in the letter, according to CNN.
Trump himself has called for mass protests outside his arraignment, saying his prosecution is politically motivated. Longtime Trump ally and GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is hosting a rally in a nearby park on Tuesday morning with a New York-based Republican political group.
In New York state courts, the use of cameras during certain court proceedings is normally left up to the judge overseeing the case.
Trump’s attorneys said in their Monday letter that Merchan, the presiding judge, to take security concerns into account. The plans for Trump’s court appearance depend on complex coordination between the New York Police Department, the court’s security officers, and the US Secret Service, along with other law enforcement agencies.
“As Your Honor is well-aware, this case presents extraordinary security concerns (including Secret Service-related concerns) and we submit that any video or photography of the proceedings will only heighten these serious concerns,” Trump’s attorneys wrote.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which is bringing the case against Trump, said in its own letter Monday that it would let the judge decide whether to allow cameras in the courtroom, according to CNN.
The district attorney pointed out that cameras were permitted during the arraignment of Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer, who was arrested on tax fraud charges in 2021 and found guilty at trial late last year.
In that case, Merchan allowed journalists to take photos for several minutes before the arraignment hearing got underway. Video footage was not permitted in the courtroom itself, but journalists were able to capture footage of Weisselberg being marched to his hearing.