On Monday, attorneys for President Trump did something they were absolutely bound to do: they filed a motion asking Judge Tanya Chutkan, the DC judge hearing his case about interference in the 2020 election, to recuse herself.
Judge Chutkan, an Obama appointee, is on record, from before being assigned Trump’s case, strongly implying that Trump needed to be behind bars.
Trump’s attorneys say this statement is “inherently disqualifying,” and they are right. If she fails to disqualify herself over this and other statements she has made, and is allowed to continue presiding, we may assume that our legal system is down the toilet and we really are just “going through the motions of justice.”
Perhaps the worst problem with Trump Derangement Syndrome is that those infected by it do not realize this and still are convinced they’re objective. As the motion states, “Although Judge Chutkin may genuinely intend to give President Trump a fair trial --- and may believe that she can do so --- her public statements unavoidably taint these proceedings, regardless of outcome.”
It was during the sentencing of January 6 defendant Christine Priola that she said the people at the Capitol that day were there out of “blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day.”
Trump’s lawyers argued that the meaning of this is “inescapable --- President Trump is free, but should not be.”
It’s not just words but actions. Chutkan has already done one thing that suggests she’s --- consciously or not --- trying to damage President Trump’s ability to run for the GOP nomination in ‘24. She set the trial date in his case for March 4 of next year. The Super Tuesday primaries are March 5.
It’s up to the judge to recuse herself, but if she doesn’t (and she probably won’t), we’d think that would enter into any appeal down the road, if it comes to that.
Now, let’s go from DC to Fulton County, Georgia, and see how the deck has been stacked against President Trump there…
Attorney and election law expert Cleta Mitchell told legal analyst Margot Cleveland at THE FEDERALIST that being questioned for hours by the Fulton County grand jury was “a surreal experience.” She said, “I knew coming out of there that the whole thing was a loose cannon...[that] they were going to recommend indicting basically all the Trump allies --- it was a completely political situation --- nothing to do with the law. NOTHING.”
Mitchell was called to testify because she had represented Trump in his challenge to the 2020 election in Georgia. (As you know, the concept of attorney-client privilege, at least for President Trump, has been tossed right out the window. Executive privilege, too.)
Now that the grand jury report has been released, we know that “all the Trump allies” refers to 39 (!) people that they wanted to charge, not just the 19 who actually were indicted. Some of those on the list but whom DA Fani Willis apparently knew better than to indict were South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, and former GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, both of Georgia. Mitchell herself was on the list but also not indicted.
Remember Emily Kohrs, the scary jury foreperson who made the mistake of doing a few interviews while the grand jury was still hearing testimony? Her overzealousness apparently was no act; Mitchell told Cleveland that some notes she herself had carried into the grand jury room had been taken by Kohrs and completely misread. “You say here,” Kohrs told her, “...that you are asking the court to award the electors to Donald Trump.”
As the notes said no such thing, a puzzled Mitchell said, “Where do you read that?” Kohrs handed it back. To quote Mitchell:
“Nowhere in the memorandum of law does it say that the election should be awarded to Trump. We argued that there is precedent under Georgia law for the court to vacate the results and order a new election IF we were able to establish that the evidence proved there were more illegal votes, cast in violation of state law but counted and included in the certified total, than the margin of difference between the two candidates — the remedy is a new election. Alternatively, we argued that the state legislature has plenary power under the U.S. Constitution to meet and determine the electors — and I told her that.”
In other words, she was explaining this the way we explained the alternate slate of electors (who now face criminal charges): that it was only IN CASE the evidence showed the need for it. What Mitchell had described in writing was not illegal. But Kohrs is such a zealot, she automatically jumped to the worst possible interpretation --- something that Mitchell hadn’t even said.
The grand jury recommended indicting Mitchell on a variety of charges relating to the phone call in which Trump allegedly told Secretary of State Raffensperger to “find” a specified number of votes. They did this in spite of the fact that they never asked her even one question about the phone call. What Fulton County prosecutors asked her about, she said, was what they saw as “deficiencies” in the election challenge filed by Trump.
After hearing Mitchell’s account, Cleveland concluded that the questions they had asked her “further cement the reality that what Democrats are trying to do is criminalize election challenges brought by Republicans.” (Democrats, knock yourself out with all the election challenges you want!) If this DA in Georgia can get away with it, it’s bound to start happening all over the country, with Democrat-controlled courts picking the winners.
RELATED: As long as we’re talking about contested elections, what on earth is going on with GOP Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, in his remarks about the J6 case? He currently sits on the House Judiciary Committee, but, good heavens, is he looking for a permanent gig on MSNBC? Investigative reporter Julie Kelly has picked apart Buck’s response to a letter signed by more than 200 in the Colorado Republican Party demanding that elected officials in their state address the plight of the J6 defendants.
Buck made light of their plight.
Kelly, who knows as much and possibly more than anyone about the J6 defendants and the treatment they’ve received by the legal system, says Buck’s “Pollyanna-ish view of the DC legal and judicial system is animated by ignorance.” Her masterful response to Rep. Buck is a must-read…
And, yes, Buck actually did go on MSNBC to defend Joe Biden from claims he was involved in Hunter’s business. As for talk of an impeachment inquiry, he says Speaker Kevin McCarthy is just using that as “a distraction.”
“The time for impeachment is the time when there’s evidence linking President Biden --- if there’s evidence linking President Biden to a high crime or misdemeanor. That doesn’t exist now.”
It’s true that an impeachment shouldn’t be rushed, but there’s more than enough evidence to warrant the inquiry, NOW. It’s all up to Congress, because the ‘Justice’ Department sure isn’t going to do it.