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Trump requests federal judge be removed from his case

 September 12, 2023

Former President Donald Trump is urging the federal judge in D.C. overseeing his 2020 election case to recuse herself from the matter, as Fox News reports.

On Monday, Trump's legal team filed a motion targeting U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who, when serving as an assistant public defender, was nominated to her judicial role by then-President Barack Obama.

Judge's Previous Remarks Under Scrutiny

The legal team for Trump has raised concerns over Chutkan's impartiality, referencing past remarks she has made about the former president.

Specifically, they highlighted a comment in which Chutkan insinuated that Trump "should be prosecuted and imprisoned."

The motion states, "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 motion stated.

The filing elaborates on this concern, noting, "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."

Background on Judge Chutkan's Rulings

Chutkan has gained a reputation for being notably rigorous in her sentencing of defendants connected to the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

She has imposed prison terms exceeding the recommendations made by the Justice Department's prosecutors.

Previously, in another Jan. 6-related case, the judge ruled against Trump.

In November 2021, she denied the former president's attempt to prevent the House of Representatives' Jan. 6 committee from accessing certain documents, rejecting his claim of executive privilege.

Trump's Disputes with the Judiciary

Trump faces four criminal charges related to his purported efforts to retain power after the 2020 election. He pled not guilty to all charges last month.

This isn't the first time Trump has challenged judges charged with overseeing litigation in which he is involved.

He had previously, to no avail, attempted to recuse a judge in New York presiding over his hush money criminal case, as The Hill reported.

On multiple occasions via Truth Social, Trump has vocally criticized Chutkan and other members of the judiciary.

He and his legal team had previously hinted at a potential motion for Chutkan's recusal in the ongoing case.

Furthermore, Trump hasn't been shy about his personal sentiments towards Chutkan, stating she "obviously wants me behind bars," and labeling her as "very biased and unfair."