Donald Trump will be on trial fighting criminal charges right in the middle of the Presidential election campaign next year. Crucially, his DC trial is due to start on March 4, the day before Super Tuesday, when the highest number of states vote in the primary elections. The former President’s defense team argued that Trump should not face his charges in court until after the elections, but Judge Tanya Chutkan – whom Trump has accused of bias – rejected the argument.
Mr. Trump’s defense attorneys said they would abide by Judge Chutkan’s ruling but put on record their concerns about receiving a fair trial in Washington, DC. Judge Chutkan said she would be “watching very carefully for anything which might poison the jury pool.”
The charges stem from an investigation conducted by Special Counsel Jack Smith into the extent to which President Trump was involved in, or responsible for, the events of January 6, 2021. Trump has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
Judge Tanya Chutkan was forced to defend her integrity in August when Donald Trump accused her of bias and said she wants to see him in jail. On his Truth social media account, Mr. Trump referred to the judge as “highly partisan” and “very biased and unfair.” He added, “She obviously wants me behind bars.”
In sentencing Christine Priola for her participation in the riots of January 6, Judge Chutkan said, “The people who mobbed that Capitol were there in fidelity, in loyalty, to one man. It’s a blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day.” Trump argued that, given her statement, she clearly dislikes the former President and cannot oversee just proceedings on that basis.
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz spoke out in Trump’s favor and said Chutkan donated to the Obama campaign and openly supported Black Lives Matter rioters.