Trump's Tuesday arraignment won't be broadcast live, judge rules, after Trump's team argued that allowing cameras would cause too much chaos

Trump's Tuesday arraignment won't be broadcast live, judge rules, after Trump's team argued that allowing cameras would cause too much chaos
Former U.S. President Donald Trump.Brandon Bell/Getty Images
  • The arraignment of Donald Trump on Tuesday will not be broadcast live, a judge ruled.
  • Electronic devices like phones and laptops will also not be allowed in the courtroom.

Those hoping to watch the historic arraignment of former President Donald Trump on Tuesday may be disappointed to find out that a judge ruled Monday night against broadcasting the proceedings.

Several news organizations — including Insider — previously requested that cameras be allowed in the courtroom to broadcast the proceedings.

New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan denied their request, writing that the interest of media outlets to publicize the arraignment was weighed against "competing interests," according to the order obtained by CNN and Law360.

Merchan ruled instead that five pool photographers will be given limited time to take still photos in the jury box before the arraignment hearing.

Merchan also denied the use of all electronic devices, including laptops and cellphones, to reporters in the courtroom during the arraignment. Use of cameras will still be permitted in the hallways.


Trump's lawyers argued in a Monday letter to Merchan that he should deny the request by news outlets to allow cameras in the courtroom for Trump's Manhattan arraignment on Tuesday.

"We submit that the media request should be denied because it will create a circus-like atmosphere at the arraignment, raise unique security concerns, and is inconsistent with President Trump's presumption of innocence," Trump's legal team wrote in the letter.

Trump's attorneys also asked that Merchan to take security concerns into account. The plans for Trump's court appearance depend on complex coordination between the New York Police Department, the court's security officers, and the US Secret Service, along with other law enforcement agencies.

"As Your Honor is well-aware, this case presents extraordinary security concerns (including Secret Service-related concerns) and we submit that any video or photography of the proceedings will only heighten these serious concerns," Trump's attorneys wrote.

In New York state courts, the use of cameras during certain court proceedings is normally left up to the judge overseeing the case.


In another letter, filed to court Monday, lawyers for the news organizations asked Merchan to keep the extraordinary public interest in mind as he decides whether to allow cameras in the courtroom.

"These space limitations are precisely why maximum press presence in the courtroom is necessary and why contemporaneous audio-visual coverage of the proceeding is crucial," the lawyers wrote. "Since the courtroom cannot fit the enormous number of people who are interested in this historic proceeding, it is the press who must serve the function — so essential in a democracy — of being the eyes and ears of the public."

In Merchan's Monday evening ruling, the judge conceded that the indictment and arraignment "involves a matter of monumental significance."

"Never in the history of the United States has a sitting or past President been indicted on criminal charges. Mr. Trump's arraignment has generated unparalleled public interest and media attention," Merchan wrote. "The populace rightly hungers for the most accurate and current information available. To suggest otherwise would be disingenuous."