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Manafort trial won’t be on TV, or live-tweeted, because of federal law

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Paul ManafortDrew Angerer/Getty Images

  • Paul Manafort is appearing in federal court in
    Alexandria, Virginia, this week.
  • It is the first trial from Robert Mueller’s
    investigation, and interest is huge.
  • However, federal law means it’s illegal to televise
    proceedings, for Manafort’s trial and any to follow.
  • Journalists can attend, but have been told to lock up
    their phones.

The first court trial from Robert Mueller’s investigation begins
on Tuesday, but there’s no way to watch it on TV as it will be
illegal to broadcast it.

Tuesday’s trial will see Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign
chairman, face a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on
criminal charges of tax evasion.

If found guilty, Manafort could spend the rest of his life in
prison. He would be the first Trump associate to be convicted of
anything as a result of Mueller’s long-running probe into the
president and his circle.

Interest in the trial is huge, and news media publications —
including
Business Insider
— are covering it as closely as possible.

But ordinary people who want to watch Manafort testify on TV
won’t be able to, thanks to federal law.

Although photography and broadcasting is allowed in some US
courtrooms, they are
strictly prohibited
in criminal trials in federal court.

Journalists at the trial won’t be able to provide live coverage
from within the courtroom either. Multiple
reporters
in
Alexandria
have
tweeted
about not being able to take their phones, or any
other device capable of recording audio or taking photos, into
court.

And because Mueller’s investigation is a federal one, these rules
will also apply to any future trials which result from his
probe.


giuliani trump mueller
Robert
Mueller is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Rudy Giuliani, left, is Trump’s defense
lawyer.

Shayanne Gal/Business Insider;
Alex Wong/Getty; Jonathan Ernst/Reuters


Although Tuesday’s trial stems from Mueller’s investigation into
the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, it will focus on Manafort’s
consulting work for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, and only
briefly touch on his involvement with the Trump campaign.

In fact, prosecutors said last week that they didn’t expect the
word “Russia” to be mentioned at all,
the Associated Press reported
.

Tuesday starts with jury selection. Jurors will face questions
from both sides of the trial and US District Judge TS Ellis III
as they try to remove potential prejudice from the case.

Trump has repeatedly called Mueller’s probe a “witch hunt,” and
Manafort is unwilling to plead guilty to any crime. He is also a
defendant in a separate case from Mueller’s office. That trial is
scheduled for September 17 in Washington, DC.

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