Judge in Trump's D.C. case denies motion to recuse herself

 September 28, 2023

Former President Donald Trump suffered a legal setback this week after the judge in his Washington, D.C. case refused to recuse herself. 

According to Breitbart, United States District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan explained her decision in a 20-page opinion issued Wednesday.

Defense lawyers pointed to prior comments judge made about Trump

In it, Chutkan responded to a motion from Trump's lawyers which argued that the judge was impermissibly biased against their client.

The attorneys pointed to a previous case in which Chutkan described the January 6 riot as "an attempt to violently overthrow the government, the legally, lawfully, peacefully elected government by individuals who were mad that their guy lost."

What's more, the federal judge asserted that those who entered the Capitol did so out of "blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day."

"The public meaning of this statement is inescapable — President Trump is free, but should not be. As an apparent prejudgment of guilt, these comments are disqualifying standing alone," the lawyers wrote.

Chutkan say defense claims are "not reasonable"

Yet in her decision this week, Chutkan countered that the defense team's position requires an "inferential leap" which "is not reasonable in light of the relevant facts, record, and law."

"The court expressly declined to state who, if anyone, it thought should still face charges. It is the defense, not the court, who has assumed that the Defendant belongs in that undefined group," she added.

What's more, Breitbart noted that Chutkan seemed to suggest that Trump's attorneys were either unreasonable or acting in bad faith.

Trump spokesperson stands by motion to recuse

"A reasonable person — aware of the statutory requirement that the court address the defendant’s arguments and state its reasons for its sentence — would understand that in making the statements contested here, the court was not issuing vague declarations about third parties' potential guilt in a hypothetical future case," she wrote.

"Instead, it was fulfilling its duty to expressly evaluate the defendants’ arguments that their sentences should be reduced because other individuals whom they believed were associated with the events of January 6 had not been prosecuted," the judge added.

The Hill reported that a Trump campaign spokesperson objected to Chutkan's ruling, stating, "Fairness and impartiality are central tenets of our judicial system. Judges must not only be in fact, impartial, but must also appear to be unbiased."

"Based on her prior statements in other cases that she already holds an opinion regarding President Trump, his legal team believes that Judge Chutkan should have recuse [sic] herself," the spokesperson declared.

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