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Trump Requests Judge Recuse Herself From His D.C. Jan. 6 Case

Trump Requests Judge Recuse Herself From His D.C. Jan. 6 Case

“Judge Chutkan has, in connection with other cases, suggested that President Trump should be prosecuted and imprisoned. Such statements, made before this case began and without due process, are inherently disqualifying.”

President Donald Trump has demanded U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan recuse herself from his D.C. January 6th case.

Trump’s lawyers wrote:

Judge Chutkan has, in connection with other cases, suggested that President Trump should be prosecuted and imprisoned. Such statements, made before this case began and without due process, are inherently disqualifying. 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. 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.

Trump’s lawyers then point out Chutkan’s statements, which the former president believes blames him for causing the Capitol Hill Riot:

He went to the Capitol because, despite election results which were clear-cut, despite the fact that multiple court challenges all over the country had rejected every single one of the challenges to the election, Mr. Palmer didn’t like the result. He didn’t like the result, and he didn’t want the transition of power to take place because his guy lost. And it is true, Mr. Palmer — 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. That is not this court’s position. I don’t charge anybody. I don’t negotiate plea offers. I don’t make charging decisions. I sentence people who have pleaded guilty or have been convicted. 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.


So you have a point, that the people who may be the people who planned this and funded it and encouraged it haven’t been charged, but that’s not a reason for you to get a lower sentence.

United States v. Palmer, No. 1:21-cr-00328-TSC, ECF #33 at 21:6–22:13 (sentencing transcript) (emphasis added) (relevant portions attached as Ex. B).

“Public statements of this sort create a perception of prejudgment incompatible with our justice system,” continued Trump’s lawyers. “In a case this widely watched, of such monumental significance, the public must have the utmost confidence that the Court will administer justice neutrally and dispassionately. Judge Chutkan’s pre-case statements undermine that confidence and, therefore, require disqualification.”

Chutkan has handed down tougher prison sentences than the DOJ recommends in other cases regarding the Capitol Hill Riot.

For example, Chutkan gave a set of twins 45 days in jail for entering the Capitol on January 6 and taking selfies.

That’s all they did. The DOJ wanted 30 days. The fact that the twins faced any charges and jail sentences is ridiculous.

Chutkan has also said:

“This was no exercise of First Amendment rights. It was a violent attempt to overthrow the government,” she said of the Capitol attack in one sentencing hearing.

“They were mad that their guy lost,” she said in another. “The people who mobbed that Capitol were there in fealty and loyalty to one man. Not the Constitution.”


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Prediction. She’ll refuse. Someplace up the Appeals line she will b e removed.
The question is will it throw any of her convictions in doubt when she is removed?

    Doesn’t matter. A conviction isn’t the point even if appealed and thrown out. It’s to extend this beyond the election.
    This is nothing more than lawfare by Progressives and the Deep State protecting its own by sending a clear message to us proles

    Who will remove her? The DC Court of Appeals? Of the 11 sitting circuit judges, 7 were nominated by Obama/Slowy. You think these nominees will remove Chutkan for bias?

    So what if her rulings are outrageously biased? The process is the punishment. Chutkan is playing the long game, looking forward to the time when there’s a Dem Prez and hefty Dem majority in the Senate. She’ll get the nomination to replace any SCOTUS Justice who leaves.

    As I understand it from practicing federal criminal defense lawyers, a recusal motion isn’t subject to interlocutory appeal. So if/when she refuses to recuse, that will be that. If eventually convicted, Trump can then raise the issue on appeal.

      It’s my understanding that if he doesn’t object here then he cannot bring it up on appeal.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to ss396. | September 12, 2023 at 2:54 pm

        My Brother is a Lawyer (I appreciate your sympathies!) and he said that is fundamentally why these motions are brought up and most objections are made during trial. If you don’t bring them up and challenge them at the time they they can’t be used for appeal.

    I fear there is no legal solution, at least in DC at the trial court level. Maybe something can happen in FL but defunding this hack special counsel is really the only sure way to stop this now.

    Actually, not true. It isn’t only a matter for appeal. President Trump can file a mandamus petition that will be heard by an appellate panel.

Trump is after maximum circus, to feature the deep state.

No brainer back in the day. Of course she should recuse. The fact that she will not shows how far past gone the rule of law is in our police state.

Maybe the appellate court will find some sense. Don’t hold your breath. It’s Trump, and better to lose the country than allow the people to decide.


“There is great desire among those who strongly oppose what Trump did in the past and what they believe he is likely to do in the future to “get” him. Many believe that the noble end of preventing Trump from being our next president justifies ignoble means, including stretching the Constitution and the law so as to assure his conviction. They believe that the reelection of President Trump would be more dangerous than compromising his constitutional rights.

That is a shortsighted view that endangers future generations of Americans.”

Among the shortsighted is the judge. Lawfare. This is what matters, not covid, with all due respect.

AF_Chief_Master_Sgt | September 12, 2023 at 1:01 am

This nation is sitting on a powder keg. The Democrat Marxists want total control, total power, with a desire to rule similar to Venezuela.

Chutkin merely holds the match that will set off the whole powder keg.

Due to the actions of the Marxists, one half of the nation absolutely hates the other half.

People who merely demonstrated against a rigged election and were conned into entering the Capital are held for years without trial, while BLM and Antifa raiders did billions of dollars of damage with no penalty.

We have a two tier justice system where one side is allowed to act without penalty and the other is abused beyond a fair trial.

This has got to end before it becomes dangerous. The people will act if the last bastion of fairness through the courts is removed. The end result will be catastrophic.

smalltownoklahoman | September 12, 2023 at 7:00 am

Agree that Chutkin won’t recuse herself, this whole farce is about keeping Trump from winning a second term and everyone opposed to him is going to fight tooth & nail to make that happen.

This reminds me of the Westerns, where they were going to have a “fair trial” and then hang him in the morning.

If it wasn’t already, it’s painfully clear there is “justice for me but not for thee” in our system. You simply cannot assume any of these people are interested in objectively enforcing the law. There’s rules for “enemies of the state” and rules for “their people.”

I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

Good play by legal team Trump (surprised you guys didn’t highlight “suggest Trump has culpability for the events of that day”). First go for the recusal on the obvious ground the judge opined that Trump instigated J6. Then if that fails, file a defamation law suit against her.

    TargaGTS in reply to George S. | September 12, 2023 at 8:39 am

    Unfortunately, like Congresscritters who are speaking from the House or Senate floor, sitting judges can’t be sued for potentially defamatory statements that are made from the bench.

      George S in reply to TargaGTS. | September 12, 2023 at 8:47 am

      Maybe if a judge speaks against persons involved in matters before the court, but I doubt it gives them cover outside the courthouse.

        TargaGTS in reply to George S. | September 12, 2023 at 9:20 am

        Yes, that would be correct. The immunity federal judges enjoy only covers them for statements made in their official capacity. If, for instance, she was giving a speech at a law school or some other venue and defamed someone in that speech, she wouldn’t enjoy the protections she would otherwise enjoy if speaking from the bench.

I understand that this trial is scheduled to begin the day before Super Tuesday. I don’t think that will happen. (Not a litigator.) Seems too complex. Too many motions. Too many defendants. It will start later and will end after the elections. In that case, by the time the trial is over, Trump is either president-elect or he’s not. If he’s president-elect, then the outcome of the trial won’t matter. There’s no way the State of Georgia will be allowed to jail the president-elect of the US. If he’s not president-elect, then there may or may not be injustice happened upon him and the country itself. But it will be the end of Trump’s political life. So, in the larger scheme of things, the outcome of this trial won’t matter.

I understand that our judicial Jackie Brown has Quentin Tarantino proofread her decisions.

She has a history of letting her politics get in the way of her ability to be a judge. She shouldn’t rescue she shoudl step down. Judges like her are the reason the Judicial cannon exists.

I’ve found the Mirror Principle to be a good indicator of bias, i.e. if you hold something up to a mirror and see it is biased/corrupt/racist/etc, then it was that way before you held it up to the mirror.

So if Trump was going up before a judge who had constantly given *lower* sentences to J6 cases, had a history of making “Trump is innocent” statements, and was a Republican nominee to the bench, the screeching and screaming from the Left for the judge to recuse would be deafening running 24/7 on every channel.

The US Justice system is *supposed* to be biased in favor of the defendant. That’s the whole reason behind reasonable doubt, presumption of innocence, and other liberal concepts. The Left doesn’t see it that way. To them, Trump is an enemy and deserves only hate.

Government by fiat and justice by whimsy. Not exactly the Republic we thought we had.

This judge won’t recuse herself and the liberal DC Circuit won;’t reverse her decision

I am curious whether the injustice department have found any cases where the trial judge slammed the defendant and was allowed to try the case anyway.

Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if she did Recuse. She knows that chances are the case will just end up with someone who thinks like her but doesn’t have to same baggage.

    alaskabob in reply to Gremlin1974. | September 12, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    But she is doing her “god’s” work after what was done to The Temple of Democracy. So much for John Robert’s and the neutral judiciary.