A group of 38 House Democrats penned a letter Thursday to the body overseeing federal courts requesting that former President Trump’s election fraud trial be publicly televised live.
“It is imperative the [court] ensures timely access to accurate and reliable information surrounding these cases and all of their proceedings, given the extraordinary national importance to our democratic institutions and need for transparency,” the group wrote.
Trump was arraigned Thursday on four federal charges alleging that he attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. A trial date is expected to be decided at an Aug. 28 court appearance.
Cameras are generally not allowed in federal courtrooms.
“Given the historic nature of the charges brought forth in these cases, it is hard to imagine a more powerful circumstance for televised proceedings,” the group continued.
“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 the witnesses.”
Among the signing members are House Jan. 6 committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and members Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.).
The bipartisan Jan. 6 special committee concluded last year with a recommendation that the Justice Department pursue a criminal investigation of Trump over his involvement in the insurrection.
Other notable signees include Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif), who is running against Schiff in 2024’s California Senate primary, and Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.).
Trump’s charges include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction, and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted.
A second federal criminal trial, over allegations he mishandled classified documents, is scheduled for May.
Trump is also being investigated by Georgia prosecutors over his attempts to overturn the 2020 election in that state. A Georgia grand jury is expected to decide whether to indict Trump by the end of the month.