When Donald Trump made an unprecedented appearance Tuesday, a group of news organizations launched a campaign to allow cameras into the courtroom.
The group, which includes NBC News, the Associated Press and The New York Times, also asked Judge Juan Merchan to immediately dismiss the former US president’s indictment.
on Friday, New York grand jury votes to indict trump card Possible offenses related to payment of $130,000 (£105,000) stormy daniels During the 2016 presidential campaign.
This was allegedly in exchange for Ms Daniels remaining silent about a sexual encounter she claimed had had with Trump a decade ago.
Trump’s legal team said he would plead not guilty to the indictment, the full details of which are being kept secret from the media and public.
It is understood that Trump faces about 30 document-related fraud charges, including at least one felony – the most serious type of crime in the United States.
The media organizations that requested the release of the indictment argued that it was in the “overwhelming public interest” to reveal the details.
A law firm representing the group said: “Because of the overwhelming public interest in the contents of the indictment, and because there is no legitimate purpose in keeping the indictment sealed pending arraignment, we respectfully request that it be unsealed immediately.
“In fact, any delay will only fuel speculation about the contents of the indictment.”
In a separate petition, the group urged Judge Mercan to allow audio and video access to an arraignment hearing expected to take place Tuesday on the 15th floor of the Manhattan courthouse.
“The gravity of this process – the historic and unprecedented arraignment of a former US president – and the consequent need for the widest possible public access cannot be overemphasized,” the group argued.
After negotiations between his lawyers and the district attorney’s office, it has been agreed that the former president will not be handcuffed.
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Decisions on both petitions rest with Judge Mercan, a veteran judge serving on Manhattan courts
criminal courts — and those who have faced criticism from Trump in the past.
Last year, Judge Merchant oversaw the criminal trial of the Trump Organization, which ended with the real estate company being convicted of tax fraud by a jury and fined.
One of its longtime executives, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five months in prison.
Trump, who has not been charged in his company’s case, lashed out at Judge Mermoney on his Truth Social platform on Friday.
In one post, he wrote: “The witch hunt ‘assigned’ to me by the judge, a ‘case’ that has never been prosecuted before, hates me.”
“He used a strong weapon against Allen, something a judge would not allow, and viciously treated my companies, which did not ‘plead.'”
Judge Merchan is also presiding over a criminal case involving former Trump campaign and White House adviser Steve Bannon, who pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering, conspiracy and fraud for the nonprofit that raised money to build a wall in the United States. Funding borders with Mexico.
Judge Mershant did not respond to a Reuters request when asked about Trump’s comments.