Donald Trump: Media launch offer to allow cameras in court for former US president’s hearing | US News

A group of news organizations has launched a bid to allow cameras into the courthouse when Donald Trump makes an unprecedented appearance on Tuesday.

The group, which includes NBC News, The Associated Press and The New York Times, also asked Judge Juan Merchan to immediately open the case against the former US president.

On Fridays, a New York grand jury voted to indict trump for possible offenses relating to a payment of $130,000 (£105,000) to Stormy Daniel during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

It was allegedly done in exchange for Ms. Daniels’ silence about a sexual encounter she claims she had with Trump a decade earlier.

Trump’s legal team has indicated that he will plead not guilty to the charge, the full details of which are withheld from the press and public.

It is understood that Trump faces about 30 charges of document fraud, including at least one felony, the most serious type of crime in the United States.

The group of media organizations calling for the indictment to be opened say there is an “extraordinary public interest” in making the details available.

Stormy Daniels in Manhattan in 2018. Photo: AP
Stormy Daniels claims she had a sexual encounter with Donald Trump. photo: AP

A law firm representing the group said: “Due to the overwhelming public interest in the contents of the indictment, and because it has served no valid purpose to keep the indictment under seal pending indictment, we respectfully request that it be opened without procrastination.

“Indeed, any delay only allows for the proliferation of speculation about the content of the indictment.”

In a separate petition, the group urged Judge Merchan to allow audio and video access to the indictment hearing, which is scheduled to take place Tuesday on the 15th floor of the Manhattan courthouse.

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“The gravity of this proceeding – an unprecedented and historic allegation by a former US president – and, consequently, the need for the widest possible public access, cannot be overstated,” the group argued.

It has been agreed that the former president will not be in handcuffs following negotiations between his lawyers and the district attorney’s office.

To know more:
Trump raises “$4 million in 24 hours” after indictment
Stormy Daniels says legal process will lead to ‘violence, injury and death’
Key figures in the secret money case, including the former Playboy model

The decision on the two petitions rests with Judge Merchan, a veteran judge serving in Manhattan
criminal court – and someone who has faced criticism of Trump in the past.

Judge Merchan last year oversaw a criminal trial against the Trump Organization that ended with the real estate company convicted by a jury of tax fraud and hit with fines.

Judge Juan Merchan rereads the prosecution tallies as requested by a jury note during deliberations in the Trump Organization criminal tax trial in Manhattan Criminal Court, New York City, U.S., December 6, 2022, in this courtroom sketch.  REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
A sketch of Judge Juan Merchan during the Trump Organization’s criminal tax trial last year

One of its longtime executives, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded guilty and was jailed for five months.

Trump, who has not been charged in his company’s case, lashed out at Judge Merchan on Friday on his Truth Social platform.

In one post, she wrote, “The judge ‘assigned’ to my witch hunt case, a ‘case’ that has NEVER BEEN TAKEN BEFORE, HATES ME.”

“He armed Allen, which a judge is not authorized to do, and treated my companies, who did not ‘declare,’ brutally.”

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Justice Merchan is also presiding over a criminal case involving former Trump campaign and White House adviser Steve Bannon, who pleaded not guilty to money laundering, conspiracy and fraud charges related to a non-profit organization who raised money to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

Judge Merchan did not respond to a Reuters news agency inquiry when asked about Trump’s comments.


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