(DCWatchdog.com) – Donald Trump has officially filed a motion insisting that the judge recuse herself in his 2020 election case due to her previous comments suggesting the former president should be in prison.
In its Monday filing, Trump’s legal team asked for the recusal of Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee known for her severe sentences of protesters during the January 6 events at the US Capitol.
On August 1, the former president was charged with four counts for allegedly seeking to overturn the 2020 election in the third of four Democrat-led indictments against him.
The lawyers of the 45th US president stressed that Chutkan had indicated her views that Trump should be prosecuted and sent behind bars.
Their filing cites explicitly the judge’s comments in October 2022 and December 2021 while sentencing January 6 defendants.
“Such statements, made before this case began and without due process, are inherently disqualifying,” the Trump attorneys write, as cited by The Daily Caller.
“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,” they add.
Their filing quotes the October 2022 transcript from Chutkan’s sentencing of January 6 defendant Christine Priola.
“[T]he people who mobbed that Capitol were there in fealty, in loyalty, to one man — not to the Constitution, of which most of the people who come before me seem woefully ignorant; not to the ideals of this country; and not to the principles of democracy. It’s a blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day,” Chutkan said at the time.
In December 2021, her sentencing transcript for January 6 defendant Robert Scott Palmer was also quoted.
“You have made a very good point, one that has been made before — that the people who exhorted you and encouraged you and rallied you to go and take action and to fight have not been charged. The issue of who has or has not been charged is not before me. I don’t have any influence on that. I have my opinions, but they are not relevant,” Chutkan said.
The lawyers write the meaning of the judge’s prior comments is “inescapable—President Trump is free, but should not be.”
What is your opinion? Should the judge recuse herself or be removed from the case because of her earlier comments? Email your thoughts to [email protected]. Thank you.