Lawyers for Trump and DOJ clash over whether judge should recuse herself

 September 16, 2023

Former President Donald Trump faces multiple charges in Washington, D.C. over his conduct following the 2020 election.

That case took another turn this past week as defense and prosecution attorneys clashed over whether the judge should recuse herself.   

Trump's lawyers point to comments judge made in prior cases

As CNN reported, Trump's lawyers submitted a court filing on Monday asserting that Judge Tanya Chutkan "prejudged the guilt" of their client.

"In a highly charged political season, naturally all Americans, and in fact, the entire world, are observing these proceedings closely," the filing pointed out.

"Only if this trial is administered by a judge who appears entirely impartial could the public ever accept the outcome as justice," it stated.

It then recalled comments that Chutkan made about the former president when trying other cases involving January 6 defendants. This included complaining that defendants showed "blind loyalty to one person, who, by the way, remains free to this day."

Prosecution denies that defense has "valid basis" to call for recusal

However, the Associated Press noted how lawyers on Special Counsel Jack Smith's team responded with a court filing in which they argued that there is "no valid basis" to demand Chutkan's recusal.

They insisted the judge did not specifically say that the former president was legally or morally responsible for the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.

Paul Kamenar is an attorney with the Nation Legal and Policy Center (PLC), and recently voiced support for the idea that Trump has valid legal grounds to call for Chutkan's recusal.

"[Judge Chutkan] is basically editorializing in her other cases and implicating that Donald Trump is the real culprit here," Kamenar told One America News (OAN).

"It seems that she's made a clear statement that shows she thinks that Donald Trump should be charged and convicted in this case," the lawyer added.

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