Trump Seeks Removal of Federal Judge Chutkan From Jan. 6 Elections Case

Former President Donald Trump on Monday asked Judge Tanya Chutkan to remove herself from his criminal case for trying to reverse his 2020 national election loss, citing “disqualifying” statements she made while sentencing two people for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Trump’s lawyers said Chutkan’s statements would “taint” his right to a fair trial in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

“Judge Chutkan has, in connection with other cases, suggested that President Trump should be prosecuted and imprisoned,” the lawyers wrote in their motion asking the judge to recuse herself. “Such statements, made before this case began and without due process, are inherently disqualifying,” they wrote.


Ultimately, it is up to Chutkan to decide if these past statements create a perception of bias. If she does, a new judge would be assigned to the case. If she disagrees with Trump’s attorneys, she will continue to preside over the matter. If the recusal is denied, Trump’s attorneys could petition an appeals court for a writ of mandamus, essentially an order requiring her to recuse. These efforts are not often successful. 


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