Early Monday, former President Donald Trump railed against the Obama-appointed judge who could send him to jail, calling her “highly partisan” and “very biased and unfair!” Special Prosecutor Jack Smith has charged Trump with conspiring to subvert the 2020 election results, and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan oversees the case.
In a social media post just after midnight Trump referenced troubling comments made by the judge during the October 2022 sentencing hearing for Christine Priola, one of hundreds of Trump supporters facing criminal charges and harsh sentences related to the January 6 riot.
“The following TRUTH is a quote by highly partisan Judge Tanya Chutkan, angrily sentencing a J-6er in October of 2022. She obviously wants me behind bars. VERY BIASED & UNFAIR!” Trump wrote on Truth Social at 1:14 a.m. ET.
“I SEE THE VIDEOTAPES. I SEE THE FOOTAGE OF THE FLAGS AND THE SIGNS THAT PEOPLE WERE CARRYING AND THE HATS THAT THEY WERE WEARING, AND THE GARB. AND THE PEOPLE WHO MOBBED THAT CAPITOL WERE THERE IN FEALTY, IN LOYALTY, TO ONE MAN, NOT TO THE CONSTITUTION, OF WHICH MOST OF THE PEOPLE WHO COME BEFORE ME SEEM WOEFULLY IGNORANT; NOT TO THE IDEALS OF THIS COUNTRY, AND NOT TO THE PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY. IT’S A BLIND LOYALTY TO ONE PERSON WHO, BY THE WAY, REMAINS FREE TO THIS DAY.”
The Obama-appointed judge has earned a reputation for doling out the harshest sentences against January 6 rioters and protesters.
In October of 2021, Chutkan defended Black Lives Matter rioters who rampaged through numerous cities in the summer of 2020, calling them “mostly peaceful” while condemning the Jan. 6 protesters as a “violent mob” who posed a “very real danger” to “the foundation of our democracy.”
“People gathered all over the country last year to protest the violent murder by the police of an unarmed man — some of those protests became violent. But to compare the actions of people protesting mostly peacefully for civil rights to those of a violent mob seeking to overthrow the lawfully elected government is a false equivalency and ignores the very real danger that the Jan. 6 riot posed to the foundation of our democracy,” Chutkan said in the sentencing of Jan. 6 protester Matthew Mazzocco.
Mazzocco pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of demonstrating in the Capitol. Chutkan sentenced the non-violent protester to 45 days behind bars even though prosecutors weren’t seeking jail time.
The judge argued that Mazzocco’s participation in the riot warranted jailtime even though he didn’t hurt anyone, nor did he steal or destroy anything at the Capitol. She said that “the rioters who committed violence that day did so because they had the safety of numbers,” thanks to people like Mazzocco.
“Mr. Mazzocco did not go to the United States Capitol out of any love or support for our country, he went there to support one man who he viewed had the election taken from him,” she said.
Trump on Sunday also shared a post that described Chutkan as “an Obama leftwing activist judge in DC, whose husband also got appointed by Obama as a DC judge.”
The former president said Chutkan “openly admitted she’s running election interference against Trump” in reference to a comment the judge made during a protective order hearing on Friday. Chutkan said that Trump’s presidential campaign cannot take precedence over his criminal case. “If that means he can’t say exactly what he wants to say about witnesses in this case, that’s how it has to be,” she said.
Trump has previously argued there is “no way he can get a fair trial” before Chutkan and is seeking a new judge and venue for the case.