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The federal judge assigned to former President Donald Trump's criminal case, Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, is a leftist Obama appointee whose history of ruthlessly hammering Jan. 6 defendants, fighting the Trump administration, and rubbing shoulders with Biden donors might be of some concern for the Democratic incumbent's top political rival.
Charges and assignment
Trump was indicted Tuesday on four criminal charges related to his alleged attempt to undo the 2020 election.
He stands accused of conspiracy to defraud the U.S.; conspiracy to impede an official proceeding (i.e., the Jan. 6, 2021, certification of the electoral vote); obstructing and impeding the certification of the electoral vote; and conspiracy "to injure, oppress, threaten, and intimidate one or more persons in the free exercise and enjoyment of" the right to vote and have one's vote counted.
The indictment states that from November 2020 through late January 2021, Trump "did knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree with co-conspirators, known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to injure, oppress, threaten, and intimidate one or more persons in the free exercise and enjoyment of a right and privilege secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States—that is, the right to vote, and to have one's vote counted."
Trump could receive more than 55 years in prison if convicted on the four counts.
This is the Republican presidential candidate's third indictment, having first been slapped with charges in March 2023 by New York County's leftist District Attorney Alvin Bragg and indicted a second time in June for having allegedly handled classified documents in a Bidenesque fashion.
The Trump campaign said of the Aug. 1 indictment, "This is nothing more than the latest corrupt chapter in the continued pathetic attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Department of Justice to interfere with the 2024 Presidential Election, in which President Trump is the undisputed frontrunner, and leading by substantial margins."
The Trump campaign further stressed that this latest indictment amounts to "election interference."
Following the indictment, special counsel Jack Smith said, "The attack on our nation's Capitol on January 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy. ... Since the attack on our Capitol, the Department of Justice has remained committed to ensuring accountability for those criminally responsible for what happened that day. This case is brought consistent with that commitment."
U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan has been assigned to Trump's case. Trump's arraignment is set to take place on August 3.
Obama's judge at Hunter Biden's firm
Chutkan, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, joined the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 2014 after her nomination by former President Barack Obama. Her husband, retired Judge Peter Kratuhamer, was also an Obama appointee.
After working with the D.C. Public Defender Service for over a decade, Chutkan worked as a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner from 2002 until her confirmation as a federal judge.
The Daily Mail highlighted how this particular law firm has "strong connections to the Democratic Party" and is where Hunter Biden served for several years as counsel during Obama's tenure in office.
The firm's three founders contributed a combined $174,000 to Joe Biden's presidential campaign and the Biden Victory Fund, reported the Washington Free Beacon.
Chutkan's old firm also happened to have the scandal-plagued Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings as a client, courtesy of the first son.
After her work at Hunter Biden's old firm, Chutkan worked ardently to hinder the Trump administration's efforts to restart the federal death penalty, going so far as to halt federal executions on the grounds that they would violate the statute authorizing the Food and Drug Administration.
TheBlaze previously reported that in 2018, the Obama-appointed judge also granted the entire illegal alien population, including young teens, class action certification to demand unfettered access to abortions.
The previous year, Chutkan ordered the government to "promptly and without delay" transport a 17-year-old illegal alien to a Texas abortion provider in order so that she might have her 16-week-old child exterminated after the Trump administration had attempted to bar her from leaving the detention facility.
indicated that Chutkan has already ruled against Trump twice when he attempted to assert executive privilege in response to subpoenas issued by the Jan. 6 committee over documents related to the events surround the Jan. 6 protests.
Avenger for the Jan. 6 protests
The Washington Post noted that Chutkan has been the most ruthless sentencing judge on the D.C. federal court for Jan. 6 protesters, having sentenced every one of the 31 defendants who came before her to jail or prison time.
In addition to throwing critics of the 2020 election in jail, Chutkan reportedly went far beyond prosecutors' recommended sentences on nine occasions while accepting harsh recommendations as sent 14 other times.
For instance, in October 2021, prosecutors recommended three months of home confinement and probation for Matt Mazzocco of Texas, who had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for joining others in entering the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
ABC News reported that Chutkan instead sentenced Mazzocco to 45 days in jail plus 60 hours of community service, noting that "there have to be consequences."
The Post indicated that Chutkan is exceptional in this regard, since "judges have sentenced below government recommendation about 80 percent of the time."
Chutkan has made no secret of her contempt for the Jan. 6 protesters or for Trump.
Chutkan has underscored that she is trying to make an example of unarmed protesters who she reckons were trying to topple the U.S. government, stating, "It has to be made clear that trying to violently overthrow the government, trying to stop the peaceful transition of power, and assaulting law enforcement officers in that effort is going to be met with absolutely certain punishment."
During one Jan. 6 defendant's sentencing, Chutkan appeared to pre-emptively insinuate Trump's culpability, saying the protester "did not go to the United States Capitol out of any love for our country. ... He went for one man."
Her retributive fervor appears to be quite selective.
At a sentencing hearing on Oct. 4, 2021, Chutkan said, "The country is watching to see what the consequences are for something that has not ever happened in the country before," adding that the Jan. 6 protesters, who did a fraction of the damage the BLM rioters had the previous year, "soiled and defaced the halls of the Capitol and showed their contempt for the rule of law," reported CNN.
At the same hearing, she suggested that comparison between the BLM rioters and the Jan. 6 protesters "is a false equivalency and downplays the very real danger that the crowd on January 6 posed to our democracy."
Whereas the Jan. 6 protests allegedly did $30 million in damage, Axios reported that the initial BLM riots inside the U.S. inflicted $1 billion in damage and were the "most expensive in insurance history."
Other estimates put the cost closer to $2 billion.
One police officer was killed and 2,037 officers were assaulted or injured in the BLM riots. At least 97 police cars were torched and another 300 were damaged.
RealClear Investigations reported that between 6 and 20 persons were killed in the riots.
16,241 arrests were made and 2,385 incidents of looting and 624 arson incidents were reported inside that time period.
While Chutkan figured the BLM riots for "mostly peacefu[l]" protests "for civil rights," she stressed that the Jan. 6 protests amounted to "a violent attempted overthrow of the government ... and it almost succeeded."
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Trump case assigned to anti-Jan 6 judge | Morning in Americayoutu.be
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.