The federal judge overseeing Donald Trump’s trial relating to his First Amendment speech on the day of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot refused to recuse herself from the case Wednesday. But why would she? An activist judge with an obvious animus against the former president and his supporters would hardly give up the opportunity to preside over the trial of a lifetime.
Trump was indicted by the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) last month for crimes ostensibly related to the Capitol turmoil. Special Counsel Jack Smith charged the 2024 Republican frontrunner with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy against rights, obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy to obstruct a proceeding, all for raising electoral objections similar to those Democrats have made for decades.
Trump pled “not guilty” to the charges days later and followed the plea with a motion to move the politically charged trial outside of the nation’s capital. A new poll out earlier this month shows Trump made the latter request for good reason. Besides the fact that the district voted for President Joe Biden over Trump in 2020 by a whopping 92 to 5 percent, an Emerson College survey found a majority of D.C. residents, 64 percent, had already made up their minds to vote in favor of convicting Trump if they were selected for his jury. Only 8 percent said they would find Trump innocent, and another 28 percent were unsure.
An examination of Judge Chutkan’s recent record only raises more doubt over Trump’s prospects of receiving a fair trial, even if the jury pool were picked from the 28 percent of residents who at least professed to have an open mind.
According to the Associated Press in August, the Obama-appointed judge has built a reputation as “a tough punisher of Capitol rioters.” Chutkan presided over more than three dozen cases of those charged with crimes related to the Capitol chaos on Jan. 6, 2021.
“Other judges typically have handed down sentences that are more lenient than those requested by prosecutors,” reported the AP. “Chutkan, however, has matched or exceeded prosecutors’ recommendations in 19 of her 38 sentences. In four of those cases, prosecutors weren’t seeking any jail time at all.”
Through her rulings in the cases of riot defendants, Chutkan blasted comparisons between the Capitol violence and the explosion of Democrat-led violence and unrest that defined the summer of 2020. The fiery riots, she claimed, were actually “the actions of people protesting, mostly peacefully, for civil rights.” Never mind the $2 billion worth of damage, making the outbreak of leftist violence one of the most destructive in American history. The carnage from the summer of rage cost 66 times more than the estimated damage done to the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Parroting the Democrat talking point that Republicans, along with election integrity, pose a “threat to democracy,” Chutkan declared comparisons between the two episodes “ignore a very real danger that the Jan. 6 riot posed to the foundation of our democracy.”
Furthermore, when Trump complained the federal charges against him were instruments of election interference by the Department of Justice, Chutkan shrugged it off, saying “that’s how it has to be.”
“What the defendant is currently doing — the fact that he’s running a political campaign has to yield to the orderly administration of justice,” Chutkan said. “If that means he can’t say exactly what he wants to say about witnesses in this case, that’s how it has to be.”
In her ruling Wednesday, Chutkan dismissed the obvious prejudice revealed in her prior comments, declaring that her statements “certainly do not manifest a deep-seated prejudice that would make fair judgment impossible.”