As he had brandished the threat, Donald Trump filed a motion on Monday seeking to disqualify US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, in charge of the case accusing the former President of the United States of having attempted a “criminal plan” to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election in the key state of Georgiain particular by recruiting a list of “fake voters”.
Trump, favorite for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, was incriminated Fulton County Jailhis legal photo – the famous “mugshot” – was published at the end of August and his trial is due to begin next March 4 for having, in particular, asked Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find enough votes for this state to switch to the Republican side.
VIDEO. After his criminal indictment, Donald Trump reveals his legal photo taken in prison
In his motion, Trump points to previous statements by Judge Chutkan referring, according to him, to the influential role he allegedly played in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. At an October 2022 sentencing hearing against a defendant who participated in the riot, the judge, appointed by former Democratic President Barack Obama, suggested that the rioter was driven by “blind loyalty to a person who, incidentally, remains free to this day.”
A multiplication of requests
Donald Trump’s lawyers argued that the comment indicated that the judge believed the former president “should be prosecuted and imprisoned.” “As an apparent bias of guilt, these comments are disqualifying on their own. (…) While Judge Chutkan may sincerely intend to give President Trump a fair trial – and may believe she can do so – her public statements inevitably taint that proceeding, regardless of result,” Trump’s lawyers write in their motion.
In December 2021, Judge Chutkan addressed a convicted rioter, crediting him for “raising a very good point, which is that the people who urged, encouraged and rallied you to action and struggle ‘were not charged’. However, she added that this opinion was not “the position of the Court” nor a mitigating circumstance.
In this case of attempted electoral fraud, as in the other cases with which he is accusedthe former president denied any wrongdoing and denounced the accusations as “persecution of a political opponent”. He multiplies the requests to cancel or postpone procedures. He has already contested the March 2024 date for his trial, saying it was only intended to prevent him from competing again in the supreme election.