Updated Sep 27, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Judge Chutkan declines to recuse herself from Trump 2020 election case

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd during a campaign rally on September 25, 2023 in Summerville, South Carolina.

Former President Trump speaks to a crowd during a campaign rally on Sept. 25 in Summerville, South Carolina. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Wednesday declined to recuse herself from former President Trump's federal 2020 election interference case.

Driving the news: Chutkan said in her decision Wednesday that her statements "certainly do not manifest a deep-seated prejudice that would make fair judgment impossible — the standard for recusal based on statements with intrajudicial origins."

  • Trump's attorneys argued in a court filing earlier this month that Chutkan should recuse herself because she has "suggested that President Trump should be prosecuted and imprisoned."
  • However, Chutkan said in her decision that "justice also demands that judges not recuse without cause."

The big picture: Trump has repeatedly criticized Chutkan and accused her of wanting to see him "behind bars."

  • Special counsel Jack Smith earlier this month filed a motion slamming Trump's request for a new judge to oversee the case, writing, "there is no valid basis."
  • The Obama-appointed Chutkan has warned Trump against making "inflammatory statements" related to the case.

Of note: Trump also unsuccessfully tried to get Judge Juan Merchan to recuse himself from the hush money criminal case in Manhattan.

What's next: Trump's trial over alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election is scheduled to start on March 4 — one day before Super Tuesday, when more than a dozen states will hold nominating contests.

Go deeper: Trump's courtroom calendar clashes with 2024 presidential election

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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