News outlets will not be allowed to broadcast former President Donald Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday in a Manhattan state court, a judge said Monday night.
New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan rejected a request by several media organizations, including CNN, for permission to broadcast the historic proceedings.
Five still photographers will be allowed to take pictures of Trump and the courtroom before the hearing begins, however.
Trump’s arraignment – like most arraignments in the Manhattan courthouse – is a public proceeding, but news cameras are not usually allowed to broadcast from inside the courtroom.
In rejecting the request to broadcast the arraignment, Merchan nonetheless wrote about the historical significance of the proceeding in stark terms.
“That this indictment involves a matter of monumental significance cannot possibly be disputed. 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,” he wrote. “The populace rightly hungers for the most accurate and current information available. To suggest otherwise would be disingenuous.”
Merchan said that while the media’s request was understandable, the news organizations’ interests in providing the broadest possible access to the proceedings must be weighed against “competing interests.”
Earlier on Monday, Trump’s lawyers urged the judge to reject the media’s request for cameras in the courtroom. The Manhattan district attorney’s office told the judge it didn’t have a position.
The media outlets that tried to get cameras into the courtroom had argued that “the gravity of this proceeding … and, consequently, the need for the broadest possible public access, cannot be overstated.”
Trump is now in Manhattan ahead of the arraignment. A grand jury indicted the former president last week.
The arraignment is also expected to bring the unsealing of the criminal charges against Trump, which have not yet been seen by his lawyers or the public.
The indictment stems from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into hush-money payments, made during the 2016 presidential campaign, to women who claimed they had extramarital affairs with Trump, which he denies.
Trump denies all wrongdoing and his lawyers said last week that they’ll fight to get the charges dropped.
This story has been updated with additional details.