Trump Accuses Judge of Election Interference

Donald Trump behind a gavel. | Image by Potashev Aleksandr

Former President Donald Trump has said the federal judge presiding over his election interference case is biased.

In fact, a post the former president shared on Truth Social surmised that U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan “openly admitted she’s running election interference against Trump.”

The accusations stem in part from statements the judge made during a recent hearing regarding the criminal case being brought against Trump in regard to the 2020 presidential election.

At the hearing, Chutkan spoke to prosecutors for Special Counsel Jack Smith and lawyers for Trump regarding the scope of a protective order limiting what Trump and his legal team could publicly reveal about the case.

Trump reposted a Truth Social quoting Chutkan telling his attorneys that her order may hamstring Trump’s ability to express his views on the campaign trail.

“What the defendant is currently doing — the fact that he’s running a political campaign has to yield to the orderly administration of justice. 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,” the post quoted her as saying.

During the hearing, Chutkan said Trump could not publicly defend himself online from the election-centered allegations made against him in the case, warning him “to take special care in your public statements about this case,” reported Politico.

She told John Lauro, Trump’s lawyer, “Your client’s defense is supposed to happen in this courtroom, not on the internet.”

Lauro had argued that Trump’s regular discourse on the campaign trail with his rivals includes potential witness former Vice President Mike Pence, which would unfairly expose Trump to accusations of violating the evidence-sharing agreement, per Politico.

Trump also posted Chutkan’s words from her sentencing of Christine Priola of Ohio for obstruction of an official proceeding when she entered the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

He claimed that what Chutkan said at the sentencing hearing was evidence that she is prejudiced against him.

“The following TRUTH is a quote by highly partisan Judge Tanya Chutkan, angrily sentencing a J-6er in October of 2022. She obviously wants me behind bars. VERY BIASED & UNFAIR!” Trump posted before quoting Chutkan.

In the quote, Chutkan disputes the patriotism and civic knowledge of the people being held on January-6-related charges and insinuates that such people are misguided in their allegiance to Trump, whom she implies should be in jail.

“I see the videotapes. I see the footage of the flags and the signs that people were carrying and the hats that they were wearing, and the garb. And the 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 county and not to the principles of democracy. It’s blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day.”

Trump has called for Chutkan’s recusal. The law allows for recusal based on a judge’s bias or prejudice or if a judge’s impartiality can be reasonably questioned.

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