In a nutshell: Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, will face extradition hearings in January, and her attorneys have made a special request: don’t report the trials if Donald Trump’s attention is drawn.
Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, has been detained in Canada at the behest of the United States for nearly a year. She is alleged to have manipulated banks into performing transactions that violated U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Bloomberg reports that Meng’s lawyers said it would raise Donald Trump’s threat of interfering by televising the trial. After being arrested, the president said he’d “surely interfere if he thought it was necessary” to help secure a trade deal with China or if it’s in the interests of the U.S. national security, but since then he hasn’t said anything else about it.
Meng’s defense team wrote in court documents that televising the proceedings “increases the risk that the U.S. president will again interfere in the case of the respondent, or harbor resentments that are both threatening and intimidating.”
The team added that the CFO needed protection from the court because media attention on the case was “overwhelming,” and that Trump’s extra attention could put pressure on Meng’s defense of herself and impact her chances of being released.
“From her legal submissions to the clothes she wears, each move is scrutinized by the press,” said her lawyers.
Ren Zhengfei said he would take a wait-and-see approach at the beginning of the year as to whether Trump, whom he considered a great president, would interfere on his daughter’s behalf.
The trial for Meng’s extradition begins on January 20.