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Judge Makes Decision About Cameras in Courtroom During Trump's Arraignment

AP Photo/Bryan Woolston

Juan Merchan, the New York Supreme Court judge presiding over former President Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday, has denied a request from media outlets to allow live coverage inside the courtroom.


Instead, a handful of still photographers will be allowed in the courtroom for a few minutes before the hearing begins. 

Merchan considered "all relevant factors" in making his decision, including whether it would "interfere with the fair administration of justice… with law enforcement activity, the objections of the Defendant; and limitations related to the physical structure of the courtroom," Fox News reports. 

The judge also acknowledged the historical significance of the arraignment. 

“That this indictment involves a matter of monumental significance cannot possibly be disputed. Never in the history of the United States has a sitting or past President been indicted on criminal charges. Mr. Trump’s arraignment has generated unparalleled public interest and media attention,” Merchan wrote in his decision. “The populace rightly hungers for the most accurate and current information available. To suggest otherwise would be disingenuous.”


But the media’s request must be weighed against “competing interests,” he said.

"Understandably, the News Organizations want to fulfill their responsibilities and argue that obtaining the broadest possible public access helps advance that mission. Unfortunately, although genuine and undoubtedly important, the interests of the News Organizations must be weighed against competing interests. This Court is now called upon to engage in that balancing exercise," Merchan wrote. 

The use of cell phones, laptops, or other electronic devices will also be prohibited. 

Trump's arraignment is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. at a Manhattan courthouse. He is expected to speak at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday evening.


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