Thursday, December 7, 2023
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Donald Trump is sincerely and deeply concerned about the public’s trust in the judicial process. All he wants to do is get a fair hearing, from a neutral arbiter so that Americans can have faith in their justice system. That’s why he spends eleven hours a day shitposting about prosecutors and judges in his four criminal indictments.

Yesterday, the former president filed a motion demanding that Judge Tanya Chutkan recuse herself from the election interference case against him in federal court in DC.

“Although Judge Chutkan 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 the outcome,” his lawyers John Lauro and Todd Blanche wrote in a filing yesterday.

It’s not that it’s frivolous for Trump’s lawyers to suggest that Judge Chutkan’s prior statements as she sentenced other January 6 defendants might potentially suggest bias against their client — it’s probably not a winning argument, but it’s not ludicrous. Indeed, Judge Chutkan has sympathized with defendants who claimed to have been dispatched to the Capitol by Trump and his henchmen flogging false claims of election fraud.

It is, however, wildly hypocritical when their client has so singularly devoted himself to poisoning the jury pool and diminishing the credibility of every prosecution against him. Although it is certainly on brand for a lawyer who promised to move for a change of venue to West Virginia — for diversity! — as his client screeches that our nation’s capital is a “FILTHY AND CRIME RIDDEN EMBARRASSMENT TO OUR NATION.”

How the hell do you claim with a straight face to be concerned about “ensuring the appearance of fairness in this proceeding” when your client is posting on Truth Social that “Judge Tanya Chutkan—an Obama leftwing activist judge in DC, whose husband also got appointed by Obama as a DC judge—openly admitted she’s running election interference against Trump?”

Perhaps their tut-tutting about the “overwhelming public interest in ensuring the perceived fairness of these proceedings” would seem less ridiculous if their client wasn’t howling that the judge had some nefarious connection to Hunter Biden because they both worked at Boies Schiller Flexner ten years ago.

The handwringing that “Only if this trial is administered by a judge who appears entirely impartial could the public ever accept the outcome as justice” rings a little hollow when your client is screaming “She wants me behind bars. VERY BIASED & UNFAIR!”

Although it is very on brand for John Lauro, who made dozens of media appearances the first week of the trial, inveighing against prosecutors and announcing that his main legal strategy was to try this case in the press.

On Fox, he described a routine protective order as “a very broad attempt by the Biden administration to keep information away from the American people during the election season.”

“The American people have a right to know,” he huffed, claiming that any order that blocked his client from posting discovery materials on social media was a gross violation of the First Amendment. “Of course, Joe Biden doesn’t want that to happen.”

Judge Chutkan has invited the Justice Department to weigh in by Thursday, with any response from the defense due Sunday.


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