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Trump says he’ll seek a new judge in election case

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Former U.S. President and Republican candidate Donald Trump makes a keynote speech at a Republican fundraising dinner in Columbia, South Carolina, U.S. August 5, 2023. 

Sam Wolfe | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump on Sunday called for recusal of the judge presiding over the federal case that alleges he illegally conspired to overturn his election loss to President Joe Biden in 2020.

The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, according to the docket in federal court in Washington, D.C. Chutkan, 61, was appointed to the district in 2014 by then-President Barack Obama. She is one of the only federal judges in D.C. who has delivered sentences against defendants in cases related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that are longer than the sentences that the DOJ asked for, according to NBC News.

On Saturday, Chutkan gave Trump’s team until 5 p.m. ET on Monday to respond to prosecutors’ request for a protective order. The order would prevent the former president and his legal team from sharing discovery materials with the public. Trump’s attorneys asked for more time to prepare their response, which Chutkan swiftly denied.

“THERE IS NO WAY I CAN GET A FAIR TRIAL WITH THE JUDGE ‘ASSIGNED’ TO THE REDICULOUS FREEDOM OF SPEECH/FAIR ELECTIONS CASE. EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS, AND SO DOES SHE,” Trump wrote on his social media site Truth Social Sunday morning.

Trump was indicted Tuesday on four federal felony charges that centered on his alleged efforts to discount legitimate votes in the 2020 presidential race and subvert the election itself.

This is the second federal case facing the former president, who is also the top contender in the Republican presidential primary. Trump was charged in June in connection with another probe centered on his retention of classified documents after leaving office in 2021.

Both cases were brought by federal prosecutor Jack Smith, who was appointed special counsel in November by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Trump has also been charged by Manhattan prosecutors with falsifying business records related to hush money payments to women who say they had extramarital affairs with him. Trump has pleaded not guilty in the documents case and the hush money case. He has denied the alleged trysts.

The former president added Sunday that he wants to have his election case moved out of Washington, D.C., echoing his earlier claims that the region is “anti-Trump.”

Trump previously said it would be “IMPOSSIBLE” for him to get a fair trial in Washington, in part because he has called for “a Federal TAKEOVER” of the district “in order to bring our Capital back to Greatness,” according to posts on his social media site.

John Lauro, a defense attorney for Trump, has suggested the legal team will seek to move the case to a different venue.

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