The trial of former President Trump on charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election will be the most consequential in U.S. history. But because Rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure bans the broadcasting of federal criminal proceedings, only a handful of Americans will be able to watch it live. That does the public a huge disservice.
At a time when trust in government is near an all-time low, and nothing less than the cornerstone of our democracy is at stake (the peaceful transfer of power), it is imperative that Americans have a full and transparent view of the proceedings.
Steven Brill, founder of Court TV, wrote jurors consistently reported greater faith in the U.S. justice system following their time in the courtroom. Televising the trial will demonstrate that Trump is being treated just like everyone else charged with a crime. Seeing is believing.
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In Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia, the Supreme Court held the press and public have a right to observe federal criminal trials. Unnecessary barriers should not be erected to diminish that right; U.S. v. Trump should be televised.
A recent survey found that 71% of Americans believe that television cameras should be allowed in the courtroom to watch the former president’s trial. I agree. That’s why I added my name to a petition with more than 50,000 supporters who are calling on Chief Justice Roberts and the U.S. Judicial Conference to set aside Rule 53 and allow a camera to broadcast the trial from Judge Chutkhan’s courtroom. If you feel the same, you can add your name at www.change.org/televise-trump-trial.