By Andrew Goudsward
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Friday asked the former president whether he wants to appear on television during his trial in federal court for trying to overturn his 2020 election defeat.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington has asked Trump’s lawyers to provide feedback by Nov. 10 on media requests to broadcast the trial, which is scheduled to begin in March 2024.
In two separate filings, NBC News and a coalition of 19 media organizations and press advocacy groups say the public has a right to see the unprecedented trial of a former U.S. president who is also the front-runner for the Republican nomination of 2024. They argue that a federal rule banning the broadcast of criminal proceedings is unconstitutional.
Prosecutors said in court that they opposed the effort, but did not explain why. They must submit their arguments by November 3.
Trump’s lead lawyer in the case, , previously told CNN that he personally supported televising the trial. Lauro told Reuters on Friday that Trump would respond “in accordance with the Court’s order.”
It’s unclear whether Trump, a former reality TV star who has actively sought publicity in his political and business career, will want to broadcast the trial, which will take place in the heart of the race for the Republican nomination.
Trump made numerous comments in front of television cameras set up outside a New York state courtroom, where he is currently on trial on civil business fraud charges.
Federal courts, unlike many state courts, prohibit television cameras and photography in courtrooms. A U.S. judicial panel agreed Thursday to consider easing that broadcast ban, but said any changes would only happen after Trump stands trial in the case and a second criminal trial is scheduled to begin in May for his alleged mishandling of classified documents.
Proceedings in a separate Georgia election subversion criminal case involving Trump and more than a dozen other defendants were televised. He is also scheduled to go on trial in March in New York in a case related to the payment of a hush sum of money to a porn star.
Trump has pleaded not guilty and accused prosecutors of interfering with his 2024 presidential campaign.
(Reporting by Andrew Goudsward; editing by Andy Sullivan and Jonathan Oatis)