Special counsel Jack Smith’s team urged the judge in its election interference case to reject a motion from former President Trump’s attorneys asking her to recuse herself.
“There is no valid basis, under the relevant law and facts, for the Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, to disqualify herself in this proceeding,” prosecutors wrote.
“Because the defendant’s motion fails to establish any bias by the Court, much less the deep-seated antagonism required for recusal, the Court has a duty to continue to oversee this proceeding.”
Trump’s team filed a motion Monday asking Chutkan to recuse herself, a long-shot bid that will be weighed by Chutkan herself.
The filing points to comments Chutkan has made while weighing the sentences of other Jan. 6 defendants.
“Judge Chutkan has, in connection with other cases, suggested that President Trump should be prosecuted and imprisoned,” Trump’s attorneys wrote Monday.
“Such statements, made before this case began and without due process, are inherently disqualifying,” they continued. “Although Judge Chutkan may genuinely intend to give President Trump a fair trial — and may believe that she can do so — her public statements unavoidably taint these proceedings, regardless of outcome.”
But the special counsel’s team accused Trump of cherry-picking statements, noting that they all came in the cases of defendants who “invoked the defendant, and the mob on January 6, in their bids for sentencing reductions — arguing that the culpability of others, including the defendant, should reduce their own.”
“The Court responded to these arguments, as required by law, and rejected them. Now, the defendant’s motion seeks the Court’s recusal for its statements made while discharging this core judicial responsibility,” prosecutors wrote.
“An objective look at them reveals that the defendant’s motion takes the Court’s words out of context in order to manufacture allegations of bias.”