Donald Trump seeks recusal of Jan. 6 Judge Tanya Chutkan

Tanya Chutkan (U.S. District Court photo); booking photo of Donald J. Trump, via Fulton County (Ga.)

Former President Donald Trump this week filed court documents seeking to have the federal judge presiding over his 2020 election interference case removed and replaced, arguing that she should recuse herself from the proceedings due to negative comments she made about Trump.

In a 9-page motion filed Monday, Trump’s attorneys argued that U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan should be recused due to “inherently disqualifying” statements made about the former president, which would “unavoidably taint these proceedings, regardless of the outcome.”

“The public will reasonably and understandably question whether Judge Chutkan arrived at all of her decisions in this matter impartially, or in fulfillment of her prior negative statements regarding President Trump. Under these circumstances, the law and the overwhelming public interest in the integrity of this historic proceeding require recusal,” the document states. “In a highly charged political season, naturally all Americans, and in fact, the entire world, are observing these proceedings closely. Only if this trial is administered by a judge who appears entirely impartial could the public ever accept the outcome as justice.”

Trump had previously signaled that he believed Chutkan, who was appointed to the bench by former President Barack Obama and was randomly assigned the case, could not preside fairly over it. Several days after Trump was formally indicted by special counsel Jack Smith, he took to his social media platform and wrote, “WE WILL BE IMMEDIATELY ASKING FOR RECUSAL OF THIS JUDGE,” adding that Chutkan was the “judge of his dreams,” referring to Smith.

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