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The experience of being in court during Donald Trump’s “hush money” trial

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The “hush money” trial of former President Donald Trump is reaching a critical stage, with closing arguments expected to begin soon. CBS New York’s Alice Gainer provides a behind-the-scenes look at covering the trial, which starts early in the morning with reporters lining up outside the courthouse well before it opens. Once inside, reporters must sit still on wood benches all day, with no movement allowed. Eating quiet snacks like mints is essential to avoid stomach growling in the silent courtroom.

Security is tight, with multiple screenings required before entering the courtroom. Reporters await the entrance of former President Trump, who scans the gallery of reporters upon arrival. Court officers are strict, and reporters must follow the rules or risk reprimand. Sitting for hours on end can be draining, and having an external battery charger is crucial for journalists taking continuous notes on laptops throughout the day.

During the trial, reporters must pay close attention to witness testimony and quickly type up important moments for updates. The courtroom can be cold or warm, depending on the day, and there are limitations on movement and distractions. The jury, although anonymous, is actively engaged in the proceedings, taking detailed notes and closely following the case. Leaving the courtroom during breaks to prepare for broadcast segments is essential for reporters to meet their deadlines.

Seeing former President Trump in court is a unique experience, with him behaving differently in criminal court compared to civil court. Despite the high-profile nature of the trial, the courtroom itself is described as dingy and unremarkable. The responsibility of covering a trial involving the first former president facing criminal charges is not lost on reporters like Alice Gainer, who are focused on accurately conveying the details to the public. The trial is a historic event that requires meticulous reporting and observation from those present in the courtroom.

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