Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee says the criminal proceedings against former President Donald Trump will be live-streamed on YouTube.
The video feed will be operated by the court, and pool coverage for television, radio, and photography will be allowed.
Trump pleaded not guilty in the sprawling racketeering case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Trump, along with 18 of his associates, was charged with a 91-count indictment over alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Though federal courts generally prohibit photography and recording, Georgia allows cameras in courtrooms as long as they do not interfere.
“Open courtrooms are an indispensable element of an effective and respected judicial system,” says a 2018 order regarding Georgia’s law on recording devices in courtrooms. “It is the policy of Georgia’s courts to promote access to and understanding of court proceedings, not only by the participants in them, but also by the general public and by news media who will report on the proceedings to the public.”
This will be the first time cameras will be allowed to capture any of the proceedings in Trump’s four criminal cases.
Earlier this month, notoriously anti-Trump U.S. House Rep. Adam Schiff led a coalition of congressional Democrats in the drafting of a letter to Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf, who serves as the Judicial Conference Secretary, asking the conference to authorize the broadcasting of the proceedings.
“It is imperative the Conference ensures timely access to accurate and reliable information surrounding these cases and all of their proceedings, given the extraordinary national importance to our democratic institutions and the need for transparency,” the group of 37 lawmakers told the judge.
“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 added. “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 was publicly released within hours of Trump’s arraignment.
A trial date has not yet been set. Willis requested the trial begin in late October, a timeline which Trump and his attorneys flatly rejected.