Judge Tanya Chutkan will continue to hear the case in which Donald Trump is being prosecuted in Washington over his attempts to change the results of the 2020 presidential election. In a resolution released on Wednesday, Chutkan rejected the challenge brought by the former president’s lawyers, accusing them of bias against the defendant. The judge asserts that Trump has not shown that it is “impossible” for him to handle the case impartially.
Trump’s lawyers claimed it was tainted by statements he made in various hearings related to the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. In one, Chutkan told a defendant sentenced to more than five years in prison that he had “very correctly” pointed out that the “people who admonished him” and encouraged him to “act and fight” were not charged had been. Chutkan added that she “has not made any decisions about who she charges” and has “no influence over them.” “I have opinions, but they are not relevant,” he added. According to Trump’s lawyers, these comments showed prejudice against the former president.
The judge points out in her 20-page order that the Supreme Court has established a very demanding doctrine of challenges and abstentions that requires impartiality to be impossible in order to depart from a case. “The statements certainly do not demonstrate a deep-rooted prejudice that would make a fair trial impossible – the standard for rejection based on statements that have intra-trial origins,” he says.
“First, it is important to note that the Court has never taken the position that the defense attributes to it: ‘Former President Trump must be prosecuted and imprisoned.’ And the defense cites no instance in which the court uttered these or similar words. Instead, the defense interprets the court’s oral restatement of Palmer and Priola’s arguments [dos de los sentenciados por ella] about his relative guilt as an “indication” of a secret “central opinion” about the defendant’s criminality,” he adds.
The judge explains the context of these statements. “Both defendants requested a lesser sentence, claiming that their culpability for the January 6 attack was less than that of other people they considered to be instigators of the attack. It would therefore be unfair for them to receive a full sentence while these other individuals were not prosecuted. . “The court was required by law not only to consider these arguments privately, but also to evaluate them publicly,” he says.
Special prosecutor Jack Smith had spoken out against the challenge of the judge appointed to the position by former President Barack Obama, pointing out that the comments on which the request from Trump’s lawyers were based were taken out of context in order to make a case to show false bias against the judge former president.
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Chutkan set August as the date for the trial to begin on March 4, 2024, the eve of Super Tuesday, the crucial day in the primaries for this year’s presidential election. If the schedule is adhered to, it would be the first criminal trial against Trump.
The judge imposed some restrictions on Trump’s speech in mid-August, but they did not restrain the former president. He continues to make inflammatory statements and send messages on Truth, his social network, about the cases in which he is accused, including the one in Washington. Prosecutors believe he launched a disinformation and harassment campaign against prosecutors, witnesses and potential jurors, and two weeks ago called for “a narrow and clearly defined restriction” that would prohibit Trump from making statements “about identity.” or credibility of “to make possible witnesses.”
They also asked that he be prevented from making “statements about parties, witnesses, attorneys, court staff or potential jurors that are derogatory, inflammatory or intimidating.” Trump’s lawyers oppose this measure, citing their freedom of speech. The judge has not yet decided.
In his indictment, prosecutors accuse Trump of four crimes: conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstructing or attempting to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy to violate civil rights. Trump claims the election was stolen from him, but prosecutors are not accusing him of this grand, baseless hoax, but of the actions he took to change the result and prevent the declaration of Joe Biden’s victory.
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