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House Democrats request live broadcasts of Trump court dates

Lawmakers, including some who were on the now-disbanded House Jan. 6 select panel, urge federal courts to let public watch

The now-disbanded select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack holds a hearing to present evidence in July 2022. At the time, from left, were Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.; counsel; Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.; Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.; Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.; Jamie Raskin, D-Md.; counsel; Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.; and Elaine Luria, D-Va.
The now-disbanded select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack holds a hearing to present evidence in July 2022. At the time, from left, were Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.; counsel; Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.; Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.; Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.; Jamie Raskin, D-Md.; counsel; Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.; and Elaine Luria, D-Va. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

More than three dozen congressional Democrats want the federal courts to allow live video of proceedings in the criminal case against Donald Trump in Washington, arguing extra steps are needed because of the high-stakes nature of the prosecution.

The group, which includes members of the now-disbanded House select panel that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, sent a letter Thursday that requests the Judicial Conference “explicitly authorize” the broadcast of proceedings on charges connected to Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss in the 2020 election.

The letter, led by a member of that Jan. 6 select committee, Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., urges that policymaking body of the federal courts to take those steps to “ensure the facts of this case are brought forward, unfiltered, to the public.”

“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 letter states.

“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 witnesses,” the letter states.

The letter is also signed by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who chaired the select committee; and panel members Reps. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., who signed the letter, said in a post on social media that it is in everybody’s best interest to know the truth. “The American people have a right to know what is said in cases that concern us all,” he wrote.

A grand jury indictment in Washington is the third and possibly most politically explosive criminal case against the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. It alleges in part that Trump and six co-conspirators took actions on the day of the Capitol attack to try to remain in power despite losing the 2020 election.

The indictment accuses Trump of pursuing his false claims of election fraud after being told by Justice Department officials, state officials, Vice President Mike Pence and numerous courts that there was no evidence of fraud.

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