All court proceedings related to former President Donald Trump’s election interference case in Georgia will be livestreamed and available for broadcast, a judge ruled on Thursday.
Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee, who is overseeing the mammoth case against Trump and 18 co-defendants, said the use of recording equipment would not “disrupt the administration of justice.” All hearings and trials will be broadcast on the court’s YouTube channel, and members of the media will be allowed to use their computers and phones inside the courtroom as long as they do not record the trial. The press pool will be allowed to film for any television, radio or photography needs.
The ruling could change, and it would not apply should any parts of the case be moved to federal court, as several defendants have requested.
Still, the decision is notable amid Trump’s multiple indictments.
Federal trials largely bar the use of recording or photography equipment in courtrooms — hence the use of courtroom sketches — but Georgia prioritizes transparency in its legal proceedings. A 2018 order from the state’s Supreme Court noted “open courtrooms are an indispensable element of an effective and respected judicial system.”
“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,” the order read.
Trump became the first president to have a mug shot taken when he was arrested earlier this month on multiple charges related to efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. County law enforcement officials had insisted he would not be given special treatment.
The former president pleaded not guilty on Thursday to all charges and waived his arraignment.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been firm in her desire to see all 19 defendants tried at the same time, although some have requested a speedy trial, which could throw a wrench in those plans.