U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan will be overseeing the four-count federal case against former President Donald Trump, according to the court docket. Chutkan, an Obama appointee, has been handing out stiff sentences for non-violent January 6 defendants and has ruled against Trump’s lawyers in the past.
On Tuesday, special counsel Jack Smith announced a new, four-count indictment against the former president over his objections to the 2020 election. Charges include Obstruction of an Official Proceeding, Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding and Conspiracy Against Rights.
Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee, was soon revealed as the judge who will be handling the case.
Chutkan has routinely made her views known given her track record of handing down harsh sentences to non-violent January 6 defendants. In the case of Christine Priola — a January 6 defendant with no criminal record who held a sign saying “the children cry out for justice” while walking through the building — Chutkan doled out a 15-month sentence.
In another sentencing hearing for a non-violent January 6 defendant who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges, Chutkan framed protesters as “insurrectionists” and questioned their allegiance to the United States. The Obama appointee said the defendant “did not go to the United States Capitol out of any love for our country … He went for one man.”
She went on to describe the crowd as a “violent mob” that attempted to “overthrow the lawfully elected government,” adding that the protest posed a “very real danger … to our democracy.” Chutkan also said that protesters “soiled and defaced the halls of the Capitol and showed their contempt for the rule of law.”
Tanya Chutkan also oversaw the Trump legal team’s lawsuit challenging records requests from the January 6 Committee, which defied all norms of how congressional committees are supposed to operate. Unsurprisingly, the judge denied Trump’s assertions of executive privilege and demanded the release of records related not just to January 6, but all the way back to April of 2020.