In a new filing in federal court, the federal prosecutors comprising the team of Special Counsel Jack Smith denounced a line of argument from former President Donald Trump’s corner in the ongoing criminal case that Smith brought over Trump’s attempts at allegedly criminal election meddling.
In short, Trump sought the recusal — meaning departure from the case — of the currently presiding judge, Tanya Chutkan. Smith’s team argues that Trump’s defense, in having pointed to certain past statements from Chutkan to allege bias, ignored important context. Though Chutkan did, in fact, make at least broad reference to Trump in previous proceedings that involved individual defendants from the Capitol riot, she was responding in specific terms to how Trump’s actions and consequences — or lack thereof — related to the handling of those other cases. As the Justice Department laid it out in their filing, Chutkan was not simply opining on Trump’s potential culpability related to the Capitol riot in isolation.
It appears Chutkan herself would be the one to, at this stage, decide on the push for her exit, and it seems rather unlikely that the judge herself would ultimately decide against, well, herself.
“In both instances, the Court was appropriately responding to—and ultimately rejecting—a common argument raised by scores of January 6 offenders: that they deserved leniency because their actions were inspired by, or were not as serious as, those of others who contributed to the riot but had not been held responsible—including former president Donald J. Trump, the defendant in this case,” the federal team said. “The Court’s statements addressing this sentencing mitigation argument were factually accurate, responsive to arguments presented to the Court, and evidenced no improper bias or prejudgment of the current case.”
Personalized diatribes against judges and other individuals involved in some way in various cases against him are, of course, rather routine from the ex-president. He consistently attacks the justice system.