Trump to seek new judge in election conspiracy trial
August 6, 2023 10:35 PM
Donald Trump said Sunday he will petition a US court to have the judge in his criminal trial recused, arguing the person overseeing the jury deciding the ex-president's fate will not give him a fair shake.
The twice-impeached Republican has unleashed a stream of invective against those prosecuting him or running the case in which he faces charges over attempts to overturn the 2020 election results and defraud the United States.
His latest target: US District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, the appointee of Democratic former president Barack Obama presiding over the case in Washington.
"There is no way I can get a fair trial with the judge 'assigned' to the ridiculous freedom of speech/fair elections case. Everybody knows this, and so does she," Trump, using all capital letters, posted on his Truth Social platform.
"We will be immediately asking for recusal of this judge on very powerful grounds, and likewise for venue change," out of Washington -- a majority Black city that leans heavily Democratic.
Chutkan has rebuffed the Trump legal team's recent demands.
On Saturday she denied their motion to extend a deadline for responding to the US government's protective order request that could limit what Trump and his lawyers can share publicly about his case.
Team Trump wanted to push the deadline to Thursday, but the judge said they must abide by the current deadline of 5:00 pm Monday.
Chutkan, 61, is one of a dozen judges on the Washington federal district court bench and was randomly assigned to the case.
She has a legal history with Trump, having ruled against him in a November 2021 case in which she notably declared that "presidents are not kings." And she has handed down lengthy sentences to Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 of that year.
Trump, frontrunner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination for 2024, has not only pushed back against her, he has also denigrated Washington.
Shortly after his arraignment on Thursday, when he pleaded not guilty to the four charges against him, he spoke to reporters and called the capital a city of "filth and decay."
Trump's trial date in the election case is expected to be announced on August 28 at a hearing before Chutkan.