Justice Department challenges Trump effort to get judge in election conspiracy case to recuse self

Trump’s lawyers are citing comments judge made in separate sentencing hearings related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at Capitol

Published: September 15, 2023 9:03am

The Justice Department is challenging former President Trump's efforts to disqualify the Washington, D.C., judge presiding over the federal case in which he is charged with plotting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Prosecutors with Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith’s team wrote in a court filing late Thursday there is “no valid basis” for U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to recuse herself, according to the Associated Press

Trump’s lawyers earlier this week asked Chutkan to step aside, citing comments she made in separate sentencing hearings related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol that they say taint the Trump trial and raise concerns about whether she has already prejudged the former GOP president’s guilt.

In one hearing, Chutkan told a defendant he had “made a very good point” that the “people who exhorted” and encouraged him “to go and take action and to fight” had not been charged in the matter.

Chutkan said she did not make "charging decisions” and had no “influence on that,” the wire service also reports

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