The latest development in the ongoing legal battles between President Donald Trump and Congress has the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee calling for cameras in the courtroom when Trump appears in federal cases against him.
With so much at stake in a high-stakes dispute between the executive and legislative branches of government, the committee says they support cameras in the courtroom “for this limited but extraordinary circumstance”.
A spokesperson for the House Judiciary Committee said cameras will create a more transparent process.
“The American people deserve timely access to accurate and reliable information surrounding these cases and all of their proceedings, given the extraordinary national importance to our democratic institutions and the need for transparency,” they said.
Last week, almost three dozen House Democrats led by Rep. Adam Schiff sent a letter to the Judicial Conference asking them to explicitly authorize the broadcasting of court proceedings in the cases of United States of America v. Donald J. Trump.
Now, the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee are putting their weight behind the same idea.
The federal rule currently does not allow for “the taking of photographs in the courtroom during judicial proceedings or the broadcasting of judicial proceedings from the courtroom”.
But proponents for cameras in the courtroom including Trump’s attorney John Lauro say they should be allowed.
“I personally would love to see that,” Lauro told Shannon Bream on Fox News Sunday. “I’m convinced the Biden administration does not want the American people to see the truth. And they acted on it by filing this protective order, which is an effort to keep important information about this case from the press.”
However, others including former assistant Watergate prosecutor and a former assistant U.S. attorney, Nick Akerman worry that dangers could arise for trial witnesses and jurors if the trial was televised.
“It is one thing to testify in a public courtroom; it is a whole different level of public exposure to testify before the entire world on television,” Akerman said in an op-ed for the New York Times. “A witness who is named and pictured on television becomes a sitting duck for any Trump partisan intent on seeking retribution.”
It’s now up to the Judicial Conference to decide on whether cameras will be allowed in the courtroom. And whatever their decision is, it’s sure to have a profound impact on the current legal dispute.