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Security Is Increased for Judge Overseeing Trump’s January 6 Case

Trump has expressed doubts over the judge overseeing his case, but has provided zero evidence to back his claims.

Former President Donald Trump speaks as the keynote speaker at the 56th Annual Silver Elephant Dinner hosted by the South Carolina Republican Party on August 5, 2023, in Columbia, South Carolina.

Security has been increased for the judge overseeing the criminal indictment case regarding former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, according to new reports.

Reporters for CNN observed an increase in the security detail for District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who was randomly assigned to Trump’s case. Her security is being managed by the U.S. Marshals office, which is in charge of security for all D.C. District judges.

The agency wouldn’t elaborate on why it was increasing security measures for Chutkan. However, since Chutkan was assigned to Trump’s case, the former president has made a number of unfounded attacks against her on social media, claiming without evidence that the judge is politically biased against him.

A statement from a U.S. Marshals spokesperson noted that security for judges is “continuously review[ed]” and revised as new situations develop, which could imply that the agency is worried that the judge will be targeted by Trump loyalists motivated by the former president’s posts

Trump’s incendiary rhetoric has repeatedly prompted his loyalists to issue death threats against his political adversaries. But Trump has denied that he bears any responsibility for the actions of his loyalists, despite evidence suggesting otherwise.

Trump has issued several posts on Truth Social implying, without evidence, that Chutkan is not a fair judge.

“THERE IS NO WAY I CAN GET A FAIR TRIAL WITH THE JUDGE ‘ASSIGNED’ TO THE RIDICULOUS FREEDOM OF SPEECH/FAIR ELECTIONS CASE,” Trump wrote in one Truth Social post, placing quotes around the word “assigned” to suggest that Chutkan’s assignment wasn’t random.

Chutkan has ruled against Trump in the past, siding with the congressional committee that was tasked with investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, which was perpetrated by a mob of Trump loyalists. When that committee sought presidential records as evidence in the case, Chutkan ruled that Trump couldn’t cite executive privilege claims to keep materials private because he was no longer in office.

“Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President,” Chutkan wrote.

But that ruling doesn’t indicate that Chutkan is a biased judge. Indeed, Chutkan, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama in 2014, was confirmed in a bipartisan and unanimous process by the Senate that same year.

Legal experts have repeatedly dismissed Trump’s claims that Chutkan won’t issue a fair ruling in the case, with John Lauro, Trump’s lawyer, admitting that the former president’s complaints are based on a “layman’s political sense.”

“There’s absolutely no basis” for Trump’s protestations, Stanford Law professor David Sklansky told The Hill. “I will be interested to see whether any of Trump’s lawyers are willing to make that suggestion; it’s such a crazy suggestion from a legal standpoint.”

Chutkan is already set to decide on a matter in the case. Special counsel Jack Smith has requested a protective order against the former president that would restrict what Trump can say in public (including on social media) about evidence he and his legal team receive as part of the discovery phase of the case. The order is necessary, Smith argues, because Trump’s comments could intimidate possible witnesses that the Justice Department brings forward to testify. If Chutkan rules against Trump, it will likely only amplify his complaints.

Included in the request for the protective order was a post Trump made late last week on Truth Social, which appeared to be a warning to those who cross him. “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” it read.

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