The new criminal case against Trump will be presided over by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan. She has already given the ex-president one of the worst legal blows of his life, unleashing the largest downpour of information regarding his attempt to disrupt the 2020 election.
The judge nominated by Obama decided in the autumn of 2021 that the House Jan. 6 select committee may review mountains of Trump’s White House data. This decision was sustained on appeal, and the Supreme Court did not intervene. The committee’s case was built on notes, phone logs, and internal strategy documents from Trump’s closest advisors, which also molded the public’s perception of his failed bid for a second term.
On Tuesday, White House data previously known to Americans who followed the committee hearings on January 6 were again used by special counsel Jack Smith’s indictments of Trump. Trump’s third criminal case in less than four months will be heard by Chutkan, who was chosen randomly on Tuesday.
Judge Chutkan has shown her disgust and outrage at the Jan. 6 assault by handing down some of the heaviest punishments ever given to those responsible for the crime. She expressed regret that no one suspected of organizing the campaign to disrupt the election had been held accountable, and she expressed concern that political violence may flare up again in 2024.
In her first sentence of the day, Jan. 6, Chutkan indirectly referenced Trump by saying during Carl Mazzocco’s trial that he went to the Capitol not to support our country but to support one man.
Early on in the inquiry into the unrest at the Capitol on January 6, Chutkan categorically denied the connection that some defendants were making between violence at marches for Black Lives Matter and the riot itself. Judge Trevor McFadden, chosen by Trump, has expressed serious concerns about whether defendants from January 6 were being punished more severely than those accused of identical actions during the summer riots of 2020. While passing sentence on a separate defendant, Chutkan seemed to refer to her colleague’s statement, although she emphasized that she “flatly” disagreed.