Trump Judge To Permit Cameras In Case Of Indictment

( — Last Monday, a Fulton County grand jury voted to indict Donald Trump and 18 others on fraud and racketeering charges related to their efforts to overturn the presidential election results in the state. But unlike the two federal cases against the former president that will not permit cameras at trial, state courts in Georgia typically allow cameras in the courtroom, the New York Times reported.

While Scott McAfee, the judge assigned to the case, has not yet said if cameras will be permitted during the trial, the presumption is that it will be televised.

Georgia Press Association general counsel David Hudson told the New York Times that in the last 40 years, he could not recall a single state trial that was closed to cameras. Hudson expects that this trial will permit cameras.

According to a 2018 order regarding state law on recording devices in courtrooms, the policy of Georgia courts is to “promote access to and understanding of court proceedings,” including for the news media and general public.

News outlets must apply to record court proceedings in Georgia, and according to David Hudson, most applications are approved. While there might be restrictions, like not featuring the jury or employing a pool system to avoid overcrowding, even the most high-profile cases in Georgia have been open, Hudson told the Times.

When a Georgia judge does seek to close the courtroom, he must provide evidence in a hearing explaining why prohibiting cameras would protect specific interests, according to Derek Bauer, the general counsel of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.

Bauer told the Times that judges rarely seek to close a courtroom, and in the rare case that they do, the decisions have been reversed by state appellate courts.

Bauer does not expect the trial against Trump and his associates to be closed. He explained that the state recognizes the “importance of open courtroom proceedings,” especially in criminal trials.

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