Jan 6 committee members demand 'transparency' for Trump trials after attempts to keep Capitol footage secret

"Given the historic nature of the charges brought forth in these cases, it is hard to imagine a more powerful circumstance for televised proceedings."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Following 2024 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s arraignment on Thursday in Washington, DC on "conspiracy charges," House Democrats are calling for his trial to be broadcasted.

The January 6 committee turned its 10 public hearings held in the second half of 2022 into a public spectacle, two of which, one in June and one in July, took place during prime time hours, with networks such as PBS airing the hearings live on television. The committee brought in a television producer to curate their hearings for a television audience.

Court trials are not curated by television producers.

"We are writing to request the Judicial Conference explicitly authorize the broadcasting of court proceedings in the cases of United States of America v Donald J Trump," the letter, posted by Rep. Adam Schiff, began.

"It is imperative the Conference ensures timely access to accurate and reliable information surrounding these cases and all of their proceedings, given the extraordinary national importance to our democrat institutions and the need for transparency."

The letter added that, "given the historic nature of the charges brought forth in these cases, it is hard to imagine a more powerful circumstance for televised proceedings. If the public is to fully accept the outcome, it will be vitally important for it to witness, as directly as possible, how the trials are conducted, the strength of the evidence adduced and the credibility of witnesses."

Schiff, along with Reps. Bennie Thompson, Jamie Raskin, and Zoe Lofgren, who were all part of the January 6th select committee, signed onto the letter.

Schiff, who penned the letter, told WBUR in February that the release 40,000 hours of January 6 security tapes to then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson, some of which would eventually be aired on Tucker Carlson Tonight, was a "danger to the security of the Capitol."

He said that if Carlson and his team were physically given the tapes, not just supervised access, "it’s a terrible security breach."

"Those videos will reveal where Capitol Police are stationed. They will reveal escape routes for legislators. They will reveal where the security cams are. It will essentially provide a roadmap for someone else planning another attack on the Capitol."

Schiff said that if the tapes were physically handed over, "Tucker Carlson, as he has done before, can misrepresent the country."

"Remember, this is a guy who produced a false documentary that, among other things, suggested the January 6 was a false flag operation designed to embarrass Donald Trump instead of by his most extreme MAGA supporters."


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