Trump Wants Judge Tanya Chutkan To Recuse Herself For Alleged Bias In Jan. 6 Case

The former president has been attacking the Obama-nominated judge on social media.

Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys filed a motion Monday (Sep. 11) asking U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to recuse herself from presiding over his 2020 election interference case.

The document alleges that her past negative comments about Trump suggest that Chutkan appears biased against the former president.

“Judge Chutkan has, in connection with other cases, suggested that President Trump should be prosecuted and imprisoned. Such statements, made before this case began and without due process, are inherently disqualifying,” the motion reads.

“Although Judge Chutkan may genuinely intend to give President Trump a fair trial—and may believe that she can do so—her public statements unavoidably taint these proceedings, regardless of outcome.”

In August, a federal grand jury indicted Trump on four felony counts related to his alleged attempts to stay in power after losing the 2020 election. Trump has pleaded not guilty. Chutkan, who has a reputation for imposing harsh penalties on Jan. 6 rioters, was randomly assigned to Trump's case.

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The motion pointed to specific alleged instances of Chutkan making disqualifying statements. One involved an October 2022 hearing before the special counsel filed a case against Trump.

"This was nothing less than an attempt to violently overthrow the government, the legally, lawfully, peacefully elected government, by individuals who were mad that their guy lost. … It's blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day," the motion quotes Chutkan.

Trump’s lawyers say that statement is “an apparent prejudgement of guilt.”

The former president is also fighting Chutkan, a President Barack Obama nominee, in the court of public opinion. Recently, he called her a “Trump Hating Judge” on his Truth Social platform. He has been attacking her for several weeks.

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CBS News reports that Chutkan can decide whether to recuse herself. A new judge would pick up the case if she steps down. If Chutkan continues to preside, Trump’s lawyers could appeal her decision. But appeals are seldom successful.

Trump is running a presidential campaign facing 91 felony charges across four criminal cases. He has denied wrongdoing in each case.

The Chutkan case is not the first time Trump has asked for a new judge. His attorneys asked Manhattan-based Judge Juan Merchan to recuse himself from the Stormy Daniels hush money case for alleged bias. Among their reasons, Trump’s legal team pointed to Merchan making a $15 donation to President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign and two $10 contributions to political organizations that oppose Republicans. But Merchan has declined to step down.

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