Trump Asks Judge To Recuse Herself From 2020 Election Case

Former president Donald Trump filed a motion Monday asking the judge hearing his 2020 election interference case to recuse herself.

The filing argues that Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee, should recuse herself from the case, alleging she suggested elsewhere that Trump should be prosecuted and imprisoned. It cites comments Chutkan made in a case she heard in October 2022 involving a January 6 defendant, as well as a case she heard in December 2021.

“Such statements, made before this case began and without due process, are inherently disqualifying,” the filing notes. “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.” (RELATED: Judge Sets Trump’s Trial Date One Day Before Super Tuesday)

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 24: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after being booked at the Fulton County jail on August 24, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Trump was booked on multiple charges related to an alleged plan to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – AUGUST 24: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after being booked at the Fulton County jail on August 24, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Trump was booked on multiple charges related to an alleged plan to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The filing quotes a portion of the sentencing transcript for a case involving Jan. 6 defendant Christine Priola.

“[T]he people who mobbed that Capitol were there in fealty, in loyalty, to one man — not to the Constitution, of which most of the people who come before me seem woefully ignorant; not to the ideals of this country; and not to the principles of democracy,” Chutkan said, according to the court filing. “It’s a blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day.”

Trump’s lawyers argue the statement’s meaning is “inescapable—President Trump is free, but should not be.”

On another occasion in December 2021, Chutkan told Jan. 6 defendant Robert Scott 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,” according to the filing.

“The issue of who has or has not been charged is not before me,” she continued, according to the sentencing transcript. “I don’t have any influence on that. I have my opinions, but they are not relevant.”

Trump was indicted Aug. 1 on four counts relating to his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Chutkan set the trial date in his case for March 4, 2024, the day before Super Tuesday.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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