Why was Donald Trump arrested? What to know about his 4 indictments


WASHINGTON – Donald Trump is asking U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over his election-interference case, to remove herself because of statements she made while sentencing rioters who were convicted in the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021.

Chutkan told one defendant in October 2022 her attempt to violently overthrow the government stemmed from “blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day.” She told another defendant in December 2021 that while rioters are going to prison, “the architects of that horrific event will likely never be charged.”

Trump’s lawyers – John Lauro joined by Todd Blanche, Gregory Singer and Filzah Pavalon – argued in a Monday filing that Chutkan should disqualify herself from his case because she suggested Trump incited the violence and should be jailed.

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

August 24, 2023: Former President Donald Trump steps off his plane as he arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Atlanta.

August 24, 2023: Former President Donald Trump steps off his plane as he arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Atlanta.

Chutkan didn’t immediately rule on the request, but asked Justice Department lawyers to reply in writing to the argument by Sept. 14.

Chutkan also told Trump’s lawyers not to file motions without alerting prosecutors first, and to indicate whether they oppose a request. She said in a statement she would deny future motions that fail to meet that requirement.

The federal election case is one of four criminal cases Trump faces. Charges in the case include conspiracy to defraud the United States by trying to overturn the 2020 election and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding of Congress. He wasn’t charged with inciting the riot or seditious conspiracy.

Trump has pleaded not guilty.

Trump’s antagonism against the judge is nothing new. He has railed on social media against Chutkan and Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, drawing comments from both about potentially tainting the jury pool in his case.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan “obviously wants me behind bars. VERY BIASED & UNFAIR!” Trump said in a Truth Social post.

In a dispute about a motion filed in the case, Smith argued Sept. 5 “the defendant’s daily extrajudicial statements that threaten to prejudice the jury pool in this case.”

Chutkan said at an August hearing she would ensure the orderly administration of justice, as in any other case.

“The more a party makes inflammatory statements about this case which could taint the jury pool or intimidate potential witnesses, the greater the urgency will be that we proceed to trial to ensure a jury pool from which we can select an impartial jury,” Chutkan said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump tries to remove federal judge from election conspiracy case



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