Trump Urges Removal of Federal Judge from D.C. Election Case: Why It Matters

Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a South Dakota Republican party rally in Rapid City, South Dakota, U.S. September 8, 2023. 

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump on Monday requested Judge Tanya Chutkan to recuse herself from his criminal case due to her “disqualifying” statements during the sentencing of two individuals involved in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Trump’s lawyers argue that Chutkan’s remarks have prejudged him as guilty and would compromise his right to a fair trial in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. According to the lawyers’ motion, Chutkan has previously suggested that Trump should be prosecuted and imprisoned, which they claim is inherently disqualifying.

The decision on recusal will be made by Chutkan, and the case is being prosecuted by the office of special counsel Jack Smith. Chutkan has instructed Smith’s office to submit any opposition to the recusal motion by Thursday. Last month, Chutkan scheduled Trump’s trial to commence on March 4, 2024, leading Trump to criticize her on social media as a biased judge.

If Chutkan does recuse herself, the case may be randomly assigned to another judge within the same court. Previously, Trump’s request for recusal was denied in a similar motion regarding his New York state criminal case, where he faces charges of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment made in 2016.

CNBC Politics

Explore more of CNBC’s politics coverage:

Trump has previously criticized Chutkan for the same statements mentioned in his lawyers’ recusal motion. In a post on his Truth Social site last month, Trump accused Chutkan of wanting him imprisoned, referring to her comments during the sentencing of Christine Priola. Priola is one of the many individuals facing criminal charges related to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. During Priola’s sentencing, Chutkan stated that the riot was an attempt to violently overthrow the government and that the individuals involved were loyal to Trump and not the Constitution.

Trump’s lawyers highlighted these statements in their motion, arguing that Chutkan’s remarks prejudge his guilt and are hence disqualifying. They also referenced Chutkan’s comments to another defendant, Robert Palmer, during his 2021 sentencing for his involvement in the riot. Apart from the current criminal case, Trump faces charges in state court in Atlanta related to his attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia, as well as federal charges in Florida for retaining classified government records after leaving the White House.


Denial of responsibility! Vigour Times is an automatic aggregator of Global media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, and all materials to their authors. For any complaint, please reach us at – [email protected]. We will take necessary action within 24 hours.
DMCA compliant image

Leave a Comment