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Govt. Files Response in Opposition to Trump’s Motion to Recuse Chutkan

Katherine Pompilio
Friday, September 15, 2023, 10:16 AM
The Justice Department argues that Trump’s arguments fail to meet the recusal standard.

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On Sept. 14, the Justice Department filed a response in opposition to former President Donald Trump’s motion to recuse U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan from United States v. Donald Trump—the case in which Trump is facing charges in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and election subversion.

In the filing, the Justice Department argues that Trump’s arguments in favor of recusal are “cherry-pick[ed]” examples taken from “factually accurate” statements made by Judge Chutkan regarding other criminal cases in connection with Jan. 6, and therefore evidenced “no improper bias or prejudgement” of the case. Additionally, the government writes that Trump has applied the incorrect recusal standard to Chutkan’s statements, as recusal is warranted “only in the rarest circumstances” in which a judge’s comments “display a deep-seated favoritism or antagonism that would make fair judgment impossible.” The government asserts that the examples Trump cites in his motion for recusal fail to meet this standard, writing, “the challenged statements fall well short of that mark.”

You can read the filing here or below:

Katherine Pompilio is an associate editor of Lawfare. She holds a B.A. with honors in political science from Skidmore College.

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