U.S. Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, the judge presiding over Trump’s January 6 indictment, has reportedly compared the Capitol riots to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing. The comparison came during a court session where she questioned the need for a long delay before the trial of a defendant accused of participating in the January 6 events.
The remarks were reported by Julie Kelly, a journalist who has been covering the trials of those accused in the January 6 riot through her Substack publication, “Declassified with Julie Kelly.”
Judge Chutkan pointed out that the trial for the January 6 defendant will start “three years, one month, and 27 days” after the events of January 6, 2021. She contrasted this with the timing of other high-profile trials: “The trial involving the Boston Marathon bombing began less than two years after the events. The trial involving Zacarias Moussaoui for his role in the September 11 attacks was set to begin one year after the attacks; but due to continuances, appeals, and voluminous discovery, it began roughly four years later.”
While the January 6 riot was undoubtedly a day in American history, comparing it to an event that led to the loss of nearly 3,000 lives and initiated a global war on terror is seen by many as an inappropriate conflation.
And there you have it, folks.
Obama-appointed Tanya Chutkan just compared January 6 to Boston Marathon bombing and 9/11.
Insulting to the victims and legally illiterate. She isn't just crooked but painfully stupid. pic.twitter.com/IyiZ0tHrwD
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) August 29, 2023
When a judge makes a comparison that many find to be a stretch, it raises questions about impartiality and the potential for bias. The judiciary’s role is to apply the law fairly and impartially.
Yesterday, Chutkan, set the trial date for Trump’s alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election for March 4, 2024. This places the trial squarely in the midst of the GOP presidential primary calendar.
The trial’s schedule, coinciding with the crux of the primary season, is expected to continue intense political scrutiny from Republicans. Significantly, the onset of the trial is a mere day before a pivotal event in the Republican nomination process: Super Tuesday.
Judge Chutkan’s ruling follows the investigation by Special Counsel Jack Smith into Trump’s potential involvement in the Capitol riot of January 6, 2021, and purported meddling in the 2020 election results. On August 1, Trump faced four federal indictments as a result of Smith’s January 6 inquiry.
These charges encompass conspiring to defraud the United States, plotting to obstruct an official proceeding, obstructing and attempting to obstruct an official process, and conspiracy against rights. Trump has staunchly refuted all allegations, asserting his innocence.
The defense team for Trump had initially proposed a trial start date in April 2026, well after the results of the 2024 presidential election would be known. However, this request was firmly rejected by Judge Chutkan, who stated, “I can tell you right now you are not getting two years. This case is not going to trial in 2026.”
“I don’t doubt for a minute that you have been working diligently, but you and I have a very different estimate of what time is needed to prepare for this case,” said Chutkan.
“Discovery in 2023 is not sitting with boxes in a warehouse…We both know the first cut is reviewed by electronic searches,” Chutkan said, adding, “No one’s sitting there going page by page.”