The state judge overseeing former President Trump’s Georgia case ruled that cameras will be allowed in the courtroom for the defendants’ arraignments, marking the first time that one of Trump’s criminal proceedings will be televised.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee on Tuesday granted a request from four local television stations to bring in live cameras and other recording devices in his courtroom through Sept. 8.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) is seeking to hold the arraignments for all the defendants the week following Labor Day, which would fall within that window. If the timeline is delayed, however, McAfee’s order would expire.
McAfee’s order does not indicate whether cameras will be allowed during a trial or any other future proceedings in the case.
Willis charged Trump last week alongside 18 co-defendants over their alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
Willis has given a Friday deadline for the defendants to surrender, although that process is being conducted at the Fulton County Jail, separate from any arraignments. Trump has said he will surrender Thursday.
Courts have barred cameras for all of the proceedings in Trump’s other three criminal cases so far. Federal courts generally do not allow video or audio recordings of proceedings, as is true in Trump’s cases.
When Trump was arraigned in New York state court on charges related to a hush money payment, the judge had denied a group of media outlets’ request to have video cameras in the room.
The judge did, however, allow a group of still photographers inside the courtroom for a few moments before the arraignment began, at which Trump pleaded not guilty.
But in Fulton County, cameras inside courtrooms are common, which would perhaps allow unprecedented public access to one of the most high-profile trials in U.S. history.