U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) will introduce a resolution to censure and discipline U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan — an Obama appointee — over allegations of bias in former President Donald Trump’s January 6 case.
Gaetz’s resolution also calls for the House Judiciary Committee to investigate Judge Chutkan due to “open bias and partisanship” evident in her handling of cases related to the January 6 Capitol protest.
The Obama-appointed judge has routinely doled out harsh sentences to a number of 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.”
It is deeply concerning that a United States District Court judge would exhibit such blatant political bias from the bench. Judge Tanya Chutkan’s extreme sentencing of January 6th defendants, while openly supporting the violent Black Lives Matter riots of 2020, showcases a… pic.twitter.com/JzLKrU6Ryh
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) August 18, 2023
“It is deeply concerning that a United States District Court judge would exhibit such blatant political bias from the bench,” Gaetz wrote in a press release Friday. “Judge Tanya Chutkan’s extreme sentencing of January 6th defendants, while openly supporting the violent Black Lives Matter riots of 2020, showcases a complete disregard for her duty of impartiality and the rule of law.”
“Justice may be blind, but the American people are not — we see Judge Chutkan for her actions, and we rebuke them in the greatest possible sense.”
Gaetz previously laid out a plan to defund and shut down special counsel Jack Smith’s multi-million-dollar investigation into the former president. The House Freedom Caucus member suggested that House Republicans should first demand that Jack Smith present himself for a transcribed interview before the Judiciary Committee.
“If he does not do that, we should send a subpoena,” Gaetz declared. “If he ignores the subpoena, we should hold him in criminal contempt of the Congress so that he is the first prosecutor in American history to be prosecuting a case while himself under criminal contempt.”