Daring the judge’: Donald Trump attacks judge in 2020 election case, despite her warnings

WASHINGTON — In the early hours of Monday, former President Donald Trump launched a criticism against the judge presiding over the case accusing him of attempting to manipulate the 2020 election. This occurred despite a recent warning from the court against making “inflammatory statements.”

On Truth Social, shortly after 1 a.m., Trump posted a statement asserting that U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan “clearly desires my incarceration. HIGHLY BIASED & UNFAIR!”

During the weekend, Trump also expressed objections to a potential indictment in Atlanta. He referenced Chutkan’s comments made during the sentencing of an individual convicted for their involvement in the January 6, 2021 insurrection attempt.

Chutkan noted in October 2022 that those who stormed the Capitol on that day wore caps and carried flags bearing the name of one individual, Trump. She remarked, “It reflects an unquestioning loyalty to one individual who, incidentally, remains at liberty to this day.”

Inflammatory statements

Chutkan, the judge assigned to the case accusing Trump of conspiring to manipulate the 2020 election in favor of President Joe Biden, issued a protective order on Friday that places restrictions on Trump’s ability to make public statements about the evidence presented against him.

Known for her practice of imposing strict sentences on individuals involved in the Capitol riot, Chutkan is recognized as a seasoned professional. Longtime observers of federal courts conveyed to USA TODAY that she will handle this sensitive case with the highest level of professionalism and discretion.

Donald Trump
President Trump addresses a news conference in New York City on Wednesday amid an impeachment inquiry.

Testing the judge?

The judge indicated that Trump’s statements could result in a quicker trial timeline than the former president may prefer.

“I am dedicated to maintaining the organized administration of justice in this case, as I would in any other,” Chutkan expressed during a hearing on Friday. “The more a party makes provocative statements about this case that could bias the jury pool or intimidate potential witnesses, the more urgency there will be to proceed with the trial swiftly, in order to secure a jury pool from which we can impartially select jurors.”

Prosecutors have put forward a trial date of January 2nd; nevertheless, Trump and his legal advisors contend that this timing could detrimentally affect his 2024 presidential campaign, considering the Iowa caucuses are slated for January 15th.

Legal analysts note that Trump seems to be examining Chutkan’s limits. “He appears to be openly provoking the judge now,” commented national security attorney Bradley P. Moss.

Trump has indicated he might explore the possibility of requesting Chutkan’s withdrawal from the case, although his legal team has not yet formally submitted any such documents.

Georgia investigation into Trump

Over the weekend, which included a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Trump also voiced his concerns about an ongoing investigation in Atlanta, which appears to be moving towards a grand jury decision as early as this week.

This week, an Atlanta grand jury is set to convene to discuss potential charges against Trump and his associates for allegedly conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia to Biden. On Truth Social, Trump criticized Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, suggesting that she is “pursuing a possible indictment against me.” In a series of posts early on Monday, Trump directed criticism towards both Willis and one of the grand jury witnesses scheduled for this week, former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan.

There is no evidence to suggest that state or federal officials handling cases related to Trump are targeting his reelection campaign.


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