CNN and 14 other news outlets sued for the access earlier this month because many videos had become public records in court.
The videos “have so far played a significant and meaningful role in the adjudicatory process in many of the Capitol Cases, with extensive discussion of these exhibits in the government briefing, showing of the video exhibits prior to or at detention hearings before the Court, and close review of these exhibits by the Court,” Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court wrote on Friday.
Yet the floodgates of video releases won’t open immediately.
Because the videos of defendants attacking the Capitol and its protectors zero in on “particularly egregious or inflammatory” moments, Howell didn’t side with a blanket public access policy. She also noted that releasing all video from court proceedings before a trial could prejudice future juries.
So the news outlets will have to seek video from court on a case-by-case basis, Howell wrote in an opinion released Friday.
Many others are expected to plead guilty and avoid trial, as is common in court, yet some may push for jury proceedings as they attempt to maintain their innocence. Hours of video footage collected by investigators could be shown at those trials.
So far, Justice Department prosecutors have used videos to illustrate what they say are the most dangerous defendants’ actions on January 6, especially in cases where Trump supporters assaulted police.
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