Federal prosecutors have accused former President Trump of trying to turn his trial on charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 election into “a media event” with a “carnival atmosphere” by backing calls to have it broadcast live on television. Even though federal rules forbid televising trials, Trump’s lawyers asked Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the election subversion case, to agree to requests from news organizations to broadcast the proceedings. Trump’s filing was short on legal arguments and relied instead on dubious claims that he was being treated unfairly in the case and that only the transparency of a televised trial could cure the purported wrongs he had suffered, reports the New York Times.
On Monday, prosecutors under special counsel Jack Smith reminded Chutkan that she had already vowed to treat Trump like any other criminal defendant. The prosecutors added that despite the former president’s references to “fairness,” he was actually trying to create a circuslike environment “from which he hopes to profit by distracting, like many fraud defendants try to do, from the charges against him.” “The defendant’s response is a transparent effort to demand special treatment, try his case in the courtroom of public opinion and turn his trial into a media event,” the prosecutors wrote. Media organizations had raised the issue of televising the trial, which is scheduled to start in March in Washington, D.C.