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Trump Asks Judge Tanya Chutkan to Televise His Trial

It must be tough being Donald Trump's lawyer. He sometimes asks his lawyers to try to do things that are explicitly forbidden by law or federal procedure. Sometimes they can talk him out of it, but often not. Friday, it was the latter with Trump's lawyers asking Judge Tanya Chutkan to televise his trial, so he can turn it into a political rally and fundraise off it. His lawyers, John Lauro and Todd Blanche, argued that a secret trial would undermine confidence in the U.S. judicial system.

Actually, the trial will not be secret. It will almost certainly be the biggest news story in the entire world on the first day. Reporters for numerous media outlets will be present and taking notes. There will be detailed stories about the trial everywhere for weeks, just no audio or video recordings.

Chutkan will reject the motion because federal rules prohibit federal trials from being televised. The judge will probably chastise the lawyers for filing a motion that they well know violates federal rules, but they will probably bill Trump for $10,000 for filing, so other than some embarrassment, it was worth it to the lawyers.

Not that Chutkan is going to need any help on this, but just in case, Special Counsel Jack Smith has explicitly asked Chutkan not to televise the trial and has cited the federal rule banning televised trials. He said that in addition to it being forbidden, TV coverage would risk intimidating witnesses and jurors. There is zero chance that Trump will get his way and also zero chance that the appeals court will give him his TV show. He wants to grandstand and it's not going to work. Trump is not used to anyone saying "no" to him. It will take some getting used to. (V)

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