Lawyers for former President Donald Trump told a New York judge on Monday that they oppose the request by media outlets to broadcast Trump’s 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,” the Trump team said in a letter to New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchant.
Trump’s attorneys said in their letter to Acting New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan that he is required under court rules to take into account potential security concerns.
“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,” they wrote.
Among the Trump lawyers signing the new letter was Todd Blanche, who, CNN reported, recently joined the former president’s legal team.
Meanwhile, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office also responded Monday to the news outlets’ request, and said that it was deferring to the judge to decide how best to manage his court room.
However, the district attorney’s office wrote that it would “be a defensible exercise of the Court’s discretion to exclude or restrict videography, photography, and radio coverage of the arraignment in the interest of avoiding potential prejudice to the defendant, maintaining an orderly proceeding, assuring the safety of the participants in the proceeding, or for other reasons within the Court’s broad authority to manage and control these proceedings.”
But the prosecutors also noted that there “does not appear to be a categorical prohibition on cameras during an arraignment” under existing New York statutes and case law.
While the district attorney’s office stopped short of opposing the request, its lawyer pointed out to Merchan that a similar request for audio-video broadcasting was made for the 2021 arraignment in the tax fraud case against Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg.
The judge responded to that 2021 request by “allowing a limited number of still photographs to be taken prior to the commencement of proceedings,” the prosecutors noted Monday.
CNN is one of the outlets requesting camera access for Tuesday’s arraignment.