Judge Chutkan Refuses To Recuse Herself In Trump’s Federal Election Subversion Case

According to a report published by AP News on Thursday, September 28, 2023, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has dismissed former President Donald Trump’s request for her recusal in the federal election subversion case.

In a written decision, Chutkan, who was nominated to the bench by President Barack Obama and randomly assigned to Trump’s case, stated that she sees no reason to step aside.

The case, scheduled for trial in March 2024, accuses Trump of illegally scheming to overturn his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump’s defense lawyers sought Chutkan’s recusal, citing statements she made during two sentencing hearings of participants in the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.

They argued that her remarks suggested a bias against Trump that could impact the proceedings.

However, Chutkan vehemently denied those characterizations of her comments.

“It bears noting that the court has never taken the position the defense ascribes to it: that former ‘President Trump should be prosecuted and imprisoned,'” Chutkan clarified in her written decision.

“And the defense does not cite any instance of the court ever uttering those words or anything similar,” she continued.

Legal experts had considered Trump’s request for recusal to be a long shot, aimed at undermining the legitimacy of the case.

The high threshold for recusal and Chutkan’s impartiality were significant factors in the judge’s decision to deny the request.

This is the second unsuccessful attempt by Trump to remove a judge from one of the criminal cases against him.

Judge Juan Manuel Merchan, overseeing Trump’s New York hush money criminal case, also rejected similar demands, expressing confidence in his ability to be fair and impartial.

Judge Chutkan has gained attention for her firm approach in sentencing defendants charged in the January 6 insurrection.

As Trump, a likely contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, seeks to make a case for politically motivated prosecution, he has criticized Chutkan on social media.

Federal special counsel Jack Smith’s team supported Chutkan, stating that there was no valid basis for her removal from the case.

They emphasized that she had never stated that Trump was legally or morally responsible for the events of January 6 or that he deserved punishment.

Chutkan also addressed Trump’s defense team’s request for a narrow gag order that would prevent Trump from making “inflammatory” and “intimidating” comments about witnesses, lawyers, and others involved in the case.

Trump’s lawyers objected to this request earlier in the week.

As the trial is set to commence on March 4, 2024, the defense lawyers have expressed concerns about the limited time for preparation.

They argue that the timeline does not allow them sufficient opportunity to ready their case.

The trial, taking place in Washington’s federal court, is one of four criminal cases Trump faces as he seeks to regain the White House.

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