Obama-appointed judge recuses herself in Trump case

 May 6, 2023

The Washington Examiner reports that the federal district court judge assigned to former President Donald Trump's criminal case has just recused herself. 

The judge is Judge Ronnie Abrams.

Not only is Abrams an appointee of former President Barrack Obama. But, the Examiner reports that Abrams's "husband played a key role in probing Russian meddling in the 2016 election."

Abrams did not explain why it is that she has chosen to recuse herself. But, it's probably a good guess that her husband's "key role" had something to do with the recusal.


This regards the unprecedented criminal indictment of Trump by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Bragg's charges relate to a so-called hush money payment that Trump - through his former attorney Michael Cohen - paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Legal experts have suggested that Bragg's charges are flimsy, and Trump maintains that Bragg is politically motivated - specifically, that Bragg is trying to interfere with Trump's 2024 presidential election campaign.

This week, Trump and his legal team asked the court to remove from the Supreme Court of the State of New York - where all experts seem to agree that Trump will never get a fair trial - to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The filing, in part, reads:

This case is unprecedented in our nation’s history. Never before has a local elected prosecutor criminally prosecuted a defendant either for conduct that occurred entirely while the defendant was the sitting President of the United States or for conduct that related to federal campaign contribution laws. As explained below, removal is required.

Removal, which would move the case from the state court to the federal court, is rarely granted. But, then again, this case is unprecedented.

What now?

It was Abrams who was tasked with deciding Trump's removal request. But, as stated, Abrams has recused herself.

Now, the decision will be made by Judge Alvin Hellerstein, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton.

Hellerstein has been a Manhattan federal judge for a quarter century, and, according to the Washington Timeshe is "known for his care and cautiousness in presiding over litigation in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks."

The Times provides a rundown of some of the cases that Hellerstein has been a part of. The Times, for example, reports:

In 2020, Hellerstein ordered Trump’s estranged former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen released from prison after the Justice Department revoked his home confinement in an attempt to thwart him from publishing a book or talking to the media. The government’s action, he ruled, was retaliatory and a First Amendment violation.

Still, considering the unprecedented nature of this case, there is no telling whether or not Hellerstein is going to grant or deny Trump's removal request.

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