©Reuters. US Special Prosecutor Jack Smith makes a statement to reporters after a grand jury returned an indictment against former US President Donald Trump in the special counsel’s investigation into efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat, in the office of Smith in Washington.
By Andrew Goudsward
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith on Thursday opposed Donald Trump’s request to dismiss the federal judge overseeing the criminal case accusing the former U.S. president of trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election. to undermine.
Smith, whose office is prosecuting the case against Trump, said there was “no valid basis” for U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to recuse herself from the case because of previous statements she made in court that appeared to point to responsibility of Trump for the January 6 assassination. 2021, attack by his supporters on the US Capitol.
Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, filed a legal motion Monday asking Chutkan to step aside from the case, arguing that her past statements raised questions about her impartiality and would taint the proceedings .
The filing cited comments Chutkan made during two sentencing hearings for defendants convicted of participating in the Capitol riot, including one in which she said the rioters were motivated by “blind loyalty to one individual who, by the way, remains free to this day.” is’.
Trump has frequently criticized Chutkan on social media since she took charge of the case.
The case, in which Trump is accused of three schemes to overturn his defeat by Democratic President Joe Biden, is one of four criminal cases Trump faces as he moves to retake the White House. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and accused prosecutors of political motives.
Chutkan, an appointee of former Democratic President Barack Obama, strongly condemned the attack on the Capitol and imposed harsher sentences on some rioters than prosecutors sought.
U.S. prosecutors said Chutkan’s comments do not clear the high legal bar that requires federal judges to recuse themselves from a case. Judges generally deny that they have a financial interest in the outcome or a personal connection with any person involved.
Chutkan will initially decide whether to step aside.