Judge Appointed To Trump Case Has Reputation For Tough Sentencing

The federal judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s criminal case, Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, was appointed during the Obama administration and has a record of decisions related to January 6 defendants, actions against the Trump administration, and connections to Biden donors, which may raise questions for some of Trump’s supporters.

On Tuesday, Trump was indicted on four criminal charges related to his alleged involvement in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The charges are as follows:

  • Count 1. Conspiracy to defraud the United States
  • Count 2. Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding (specifically, the January 6, 2021, certification of the electoral vote)
  • Count 3. Impeding and Obstructing the certification of the electoral vote
  • Count 4. Conspiracy to threaten, oppress, injure, and intimidate one or more individuals right to vote and have their votes counted.

The indictment details to the Grand Jury how Trump is accused of knowingly conspiring with known and unknown co-conspirators to intimidate and threaten individuals in the free exercise of their constitutional right to vote from November 2020 through late January 2021. 

If convicted on all counts, Trump could face a prison sentence of over 55 years.

This marks the third indictment against the former Republican presidential candidate. He was previously charged in March 2023 by New York County’s District Attorney Alvin Bragg and then indicted again in June for allegedly mishandling classified documents.

A statement by the Trump campaign on the August 1 indictment, characterizing it as “the latest corrupt chapter” in an alleged attempt by the Biden administration and the Department of Justice to influence the 2024 Presidential Election, in which Trump is seen as a frontrunner. They further described the indictment as “election interference.”

Special counsel Jack Smith commented on the indictment, emphasizing the severity of the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the Department of Justice’s ongoing commitment to holding those responsible criminally accountable.

Judge Tanya S. Chutkan has been assigned to oversee Trump’s case, with the arraignment scheduled for August 3.