On Monday, attorneys representing former President Donald Trump raised concerns about U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan — an Obama appointee — after she gave the team just one business day to respond to an important motion.
Last week, special counsel Jack Smith’s office sought a protective order that would block the former president from sharing details of evidence in the January 6 case. While Trump’s attorneys requested a three-day extension, Chutkan ruled that the team must respond to the request by 5 p.m. on Monday. This left the team with just one business day to review the important motion.
“The government entertained no discussion regarding the content or scope of the Proposed Order, but instead demanded an immediate, take-it-or-leave-it response,” Trump’s team wrote in its filing on Saturday. “Without doubt, discovery in this case will be extensive and likely present numerous complex issues. For that reason, it is essential to structure the parties’ discussions in a methodical and, ideally, cooperate manner.”
“Friday evening ultimatums, given by the government before even calling the defense counsel, are wholly unproductive and undermine the potential for a party-driven resolutions,” the defense team wrote. “Requiring a Monday response to a Friday evening motion likewise forecloses the possibility of agreement and would encourage such improper tactics by the government in the future.”
Regulations allow for 14 days to respond to such motions, which has called Chutkan’s two-day turnaround into question.
On Monday, Trump’s attorneys explained how little time they were given to prepare over the weekend. Despite working within the timeframe, the government did not respond to their inquiries until Monday at 11:51 a.m., giving them just hours to prepare a final draft.
“Without doubt, the Court’s decision to vary from the default Local Rules and allow President Trump less than one business day to respond to this important Motion is a concerning development, inconsistent with his due process rights,” the legal team wrote.
New: Trump's legal team raises concern about Judge Chutkan: "Without doubt, the Court’s decision to vary from the default Local Rules and allow President Trump less than one business day to respond to this important Motion is a concerning development, inconsistent with his due…
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) August 7, 2023
Tanya Chutkan has routinely made her political beliefs known in recent years. Long before the case was filed, Chutkan blasted the former president for his alleged role in directing a “violent mob” to disrupt the “peaceful transfer of power.”
She has also issued a number of harsh sentences to non-violent January 6 protesters.