Special counsel Jack Smith’s office on Monday said that former President Donald Trump wants a “carnival atmosphere” at his March trial in the nation’s capital for accusations that his 2020 election challenges constitute “election interference.”
According to the legal response, Trump “may elect to craft court filings with the goal of gathering media coverage rather than lawful relief from the Court, as he appears to have done on this and many other occasions,” but there’s no reason to make an exception for the former president.
According to Smith, Trump desires “to create a carnival atmosphere from which he hopes to profit by distracting, like many fraud defendants try to do, from the charges against him.”
“As the Court has already observed in proceedings in the defendant’s criminal trial, the defendant and his counsel will, if permitted, design their in-court statements instead to wage a public relations campaign,” the Special Counsel’s office added.
Trump is currently confronted with a four-count indictment that was remanded in August. The charge is that he engaged in a conspiracy to “obstruct the government function responsible for collecting, tallying, and certifying the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election through the use of knowingly false allegations of election fraud.”
In a recent politically charged filing, Trump’s attorney renounced their previous statement to Smith’s office that they did not have a stance on whether the trial should be televised.
Instead, they claimed that Smith’s office was cognizant of the “meritless” nature of the charges against Trump and intended to “proceed in secret, forcing the nation and the world to rely on biased, secondhand accounts coming from the Biden Administration and its media allies.”
It is extremely improbable that Trump’s trial will be broadcast on television, as federal criminal proceedings have never been televised and doing so would contravene federal regulations governing criminal procedure.
Consistently, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan for the District of Columbia has declared that Trump, who is a former President of the United States, will be treated as an ordinary criminal defendant and that the broadcast of his trial would significantly deviate from the established protocol.
Smith’s team stated in a filing on Monday that federal criminal trials, irrespective of the defendant, have been regulated by a “constitutionally-sound broadcast prohibition that has governed federal criminal trials — no matter the defendant — for decades” and that there’s no reason to depart from common legal practice.
Several media entities, including NBCUniversal, are advocating for the Trump trial to be broadcast on television.