Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, known as one of Washington D.C.'s "toughest punishers of J6 protesters" and a former President Barack Obama's appointee, was assigned to hear Trump's multiple charges related to his attempts to legally challenge the 2020 presidential election that allegedly led up to the "assault" on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
The judge's family history, which was recently reported by the New York Post, indicated that she is the grandchild of Frank Hill, a communist revolutionary in Jamaica who, along with his brother Ken, was briefly incarcerated by the British governor of the island during the second world war due to suspicions of "subversive activities," the report noted. Hill is the father of Noelle Hill, Chutkan's mother, public records show. The Hill brothers and comrades Richard Hart and Arthur Henry, were also expelled from the People's National Party of Jamaica for espousing communist views.
"Ken Hill, by far the most influential, was more pragmatic and less concerned with political theory than most members of the left. He probably began to consider himself a communist both as a result of the influence of his brother Frank and also his observation of the course of world events," Hart wrote of the brothers in his book titled "Towards Decolonisation: Political, Labour and Economic Developments in Jamaica 1938-1945," which he published in 1999.
Meanwhile, Chutkan has been an extraordinarily tough judge on January 6 cases. The judge has consistently expressed the view that the incident was an attempt to overthrow the government, rather than a riot carried out by unarmed extremists with no means to capture and hold the government.
Seeing how her political prejudice influences her decisions in court, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz recently introduced a resolution requesting to censure and investigate the judge for "open bias and partisanship in the conduct of her official duties," referencing her past remarks in support of Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020.
He also pointed out in the resolution that Chutkan has opined regarding the J6 protests: "People gathered all over the country last year to protest the violent murder by the police of an unarmed man . . . 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 a very real danger that the January 6 riot posed to the foundation of our democracy.''
Gaetz also said that the judge carelessly commented in a sentencing hearing in October 2022, that Trump ''remains free to this day." "Chutkan's comments and activities on and off the bench violate all five canons of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges; namely, calling into question the integrity and independence of the judiciary; presenting impropriety and the appearance of impropriety; failing to perform the duties of the office fairly, impartially, and diligently; engaging in extrajudicial activities inconsistent with the obligations of the office; and engaging in political activity," the appeal included.
In the resolution, Gaetz also pointed out the obvious political leaning of the judge, who was "trusted" by the Biden administration to hear Trump's case. "Tanya Chutkan was appointed as a district judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia by President Barack Obama after donating thousands of dollars to get him elected," Gaetz said in a statement.
She was installed into the position by Obama in 2014 and confirmed by the Senate in a 95 to 0 vote. (Related: CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Trump case assigned to Obama-appointed, J6-hating D.C. judge who worked at the same law firm as Hunter Biden.)
In a 2011 official document recording the judicial nomination of Chutkan's husband Peter Krauthamer to be an associate judge of the superior court of D.C., it is revealed that the judge made a total of $1,500 in three different contributions in 2008 and 2009 to Obama for America.
Gaetz's statement added that Chutkan "has inappropriately expressed support for violent protests that occurred in the summer of 2020, all the while handing down multiple tough sentences to non-violent January 6th defendants.'"
"Trump advocates will grasp onto any ammunition they can to suggest that the justice system is biased against the former president," Thomas Gift, an associate professor who heads up the Centre on U.S. Politics at King's College London, told Newsweek. "Chutkan's prior Democratic donations will of course become a political football in GOP circles. It will feed into a broader narrative that this entire indictment is nothing more than a political exercise in taking down Trump, orchestrated top-to-bottom by Biden operatives."
Moreover, this is not the first time that the two will face each other in court. Chutkan has also ruled against Trump before in a separate Jan. 6 case. In Nov 2021, she refused his request to block the release of documents to the House's J6 committee by asserting executive privilege. She rejected his arguments that he could hold privilege over documents from his administration even after Biden had cleared the way for the National Archives to turn the papers over. She wrote that Trump could not claim his privilege "exists in perpetuity."
In the past ruling, the judge said, "Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President." The federal appeals court in Washington affirmed her ruling and the Supreme Court rejected Trump's appeal.
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