Marjorie Taylor Greene unexpectedly joins Democrats in call for cameras in federal court

Although citing different reasons than Democrats—who want Trump’s trials to be televised—the Georgia Republican wrote, ‘We need public cameras in federal courtrooms’

Kelly Rissman
Wednesday 30 August 2023 15:46
Marjorie Taylor Greene appears to have inadvertently captured constituent giving her the finger in video

In a surprise move, Georgia Republican Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene agreed with Democrats in saying that cameras should be allowed in federal courtrooms.

“We need public cameras in federal courtrooms,” Ms Greene tweeted on Tuesday. “A man plead (sic) guilty to planning to murder me and was only sentenced 3 months! BLM rioters attacked police night after night all summer in 2020 and over 95% of them had their charges dropped! America needs to see what’s happening!!”

Although the Georgia Republican did not allude to former President Donald Trump, Democrats have been making the case for federal courtrooms to be televised in at least one of Mr Trump’s federal proceedings. He has been indicted federally twice: one related to his handling of classified documents and one related to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

They wrote a letter on 3 August—one day after the former president was indicted in the federal 2020 case—to Judge Roslynn Mauskopf, the director of the Administrative Office of the US Courts.

The letter, led by Rep Adam Schiff and signed by 37 other Democratic lawmakers, pressed that the trial be shown “unfiltered, to the public.” The Democrats pleaded for the trial to be broadcasted, as it “ensures timely access to accurate and reliable information,” emphasising “the extraordinary national importance to our democratic institutions and the need for transparency.”

“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 Democrats wrote. “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.”

In her tweet, when the Georgia Republican wrote about a man pleading “guilty to planning to murder me,” she seemed to be referring to Joseph Morelli.

In February, he pleaded guilty to threatening Ms Greene after making several phone calls to her Washington, DC office in 2022. He reportedly said in one voicemail, “I’m gonna have to take your life into my own hands … I’m gonna hurt you. Physically, I’m gonna harm you.” He was sentenced in federal court earlier this week to three months in prison.

Advocating for televising federal courtrooms might be a precarious move for Ms Greene, seeing as she is a vocal supporter of Mr Trump. Last week, she told The Guardian that she “knows” her name is “on a list” of possible vice president picks as vice-president, should the former president win the Republican nomination.

Ms Greene even posted a mocked-up mugshot on X on the same day that the former president turned himself in to Fulton County officials; he faces 13 state charges regarding an alleged plot to subvert the 2020 election in Georgia.

“I stand with President Trump against the commie DA Fani Willis who is nothing more than a political hitman tasked with taking out Biden’s top political opponent,” Ms Greene wrote, alluding to the local prosecutor leading the case against Mr Trump and 18 associates.

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