Trump waived right to Georgia arraignment because he didn’t want to face court cameras

Notoriously publicity hungry ex-president fumes over in-court cameras in election interference trial

Bevan Hurley
Monday 04 September 2023 17:20 EDT
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Donald Trump says he boycotted last week’s arraignment in Georgia on election interference charges to protest in-court camera coverage of his upcoming trial.

The former president claimed in a fundraising email that he was infuriated by Fulton County judge Scott McAfee’s decision to allow all hearings and a possible trial to be broadcast on the court’s YouTube channel.

“Why would I fly down to Atlanta just to hear over a dozen FALSE CHARGES brought against me on live TV?” Mr Trump wrote in a message to supporters obtained by the New York Post pleading for more money.

“A judge ruled that all of my court proceedings in Atlanta will be TELEVISED for the entire country to watch,” he continued.

“The Communist Democrats would love nothing more than for me to be stuck in court in a televised spectacle as a way to keep me off the campaign trail.

“But I refuse to play into the Left’s hands. That’s why I have waived my in-person formal arraignment and simply pleaded ‘NOT GUILTY’ to the indictment in the Georgia witch hunt,” Mr Trump wrote.

The former president, 77, has pleaded not guilty to 13 state charges related to his alleged attempts to overturn the Georgia results of the 2020 presidential election while participating in a “criminal enterprise”.

Donald Trump arrives in Atlanta for to be booked on election interference charges on 24 August

Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis has said she wants to try Mr Trump alongside the 18 co-defendants charged in the indictment in one trial.

Last week, Mr Trump chose to sign a formal not guilty plea on court documents instead of appearing in person at the Fulton County Court in Atlanta.

He begged supporters in a fundraising email on Monday to make a contribution to “defend our movement from the never-ending attacks”.

The email included a picture of his mugshot, which has raised $10m for his legal defence efforts since his arrest on 24 August.

Mr Trump is also facing federal charges in New York, Florida and Washington DC on a variety of crimes relating to his retention of classified documents and attempts to overturn the election.

Mr Trump, who is normally no stranger to publicity, will not be subject to in-court cameras in these trials as federal court typically bans any video, audio or still photography.

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