Special Counsel Opposes Trump Judge Recusal Request

    Special Counsel Opposes Trump Judge Recusal Request
    Last updated Sep 15, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • US Special Counsel Jack Smith has opposed a request by Donald Trump and his legal team to remove US District Judge Tanya Chutkan from overseeing the case accusing the former president of attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
    • Trump and his team had sent their request on Monday, with Smith responding an hour before the deadline that had been set by Chutkan herself. In the 20-page filing, Smith claimed that there was "no valid basis" for the judge to be removed from the case.
    • Trump's team had cited some of Chutkan's comments during separate sentencing hearings related to the Jan. 6 Capitol protests, arguing that the statements placed the judge's objectivity into question.
    • Chutkan stated in one hearing that those who took part in the insurrection held "blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day." The prosecution argued that Trump's request "takes out of context" Chutkan's words and "misstates the proper legal standards" for recusals.
    • The prosecution continued that Chutkan's comments were made following attempts by Capitol Hill riot defendants to argue that the potential culpability of others was a necessary factor to consider in the attempt to gain a sentence reduction — arguments that were considered, "as required by law," and then rejected.
    • Trump's team has until next week to respond to the filing from Special Counsel Smith. If the request is rejected by Chutkan, he can challenge the decision via the US Court of Appeals.


    Anti-Trump narrative

    It's difficult to argue convincingly whether Trump is winning or losing his plethora of legal battles, as the former president continues to undermine the very essence of any legal process: following the rules. While it is unlikely that Chutkan will be removed, Trump has shown himself willing to go down any viable avenue – regardless of its merit – in order to delay these proceedings.

    Pro-Trump narrative

    While Chutkan's prejudicial comments against Trump are extraordinary, they are hardly a surprise. A former employee of Boies Schiller, who had previously represented and defended Hunter Biden, Judge Chutkan clearly has conflicts of interest that disqualify her as an impartial judge.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that Donald Trump will be jailed or incarcerated before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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