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The special counsel led by Jack Smith has pushed back against the recusal of Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in former President Donald Trump’s ongoing election interference case.
According to the prosecutors, there is “no valid basis, under the relevant law and facts,” for Judge Chutkan to step down from her role in this case. In their argument, they emphasized that the court “has a duty to continue to oversee this proceeding” as the motion put forward by former President Trump’s legal team fails to demonstrate the level of “deep-seated antagonism required for recusal.”
Earlier this week, Trump’s attorneys filed a motion requesting Judge Chutkan to recuse herself, citing comments she reportedly made in relation to other defendants involved in the January 6 events, which they believe indicate a bias against Trump. The attorneys asserted her alleged suggestions of prosecuting and possibly imprisoning Trump were “inherently disqualifying.” They maintained that, despite these comments, while Judge Chutkan might intend to ensure a fair trial, her prior remarks have irreversibly “taint[ed] these proceedings, regardless of outcome.”
However, Smith’s team has countered this by accusing Trump’s team of “cherry-picking statements” and taking them “out of context in order to manufacture allegations of bias.” They pointed out that Judge Chutkan made those comments in response to legal strategies where other defendants implicated Trump to seek sentence reductions. The prosecutors held firm that Chutkan was fulfilling her “core judicial responsibility” and responded as “required by law.”