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Meet Tanya Chutkan, the judge assigned to the Trump Jan. 6 trial

While Judge Chutkan was randomly assigned to the case Tuesday, this will not be her first brush with former President Trump.
Meet Tanya Chutkan, the judge assigned to the Trump Jan. 6 trial
Posted at 7:23 AM, Aug 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-04 08:24:17-04

Former President Donald Trump will appear in courtlater this month to face repercussions over his attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election results. The judge presiding over the case will be Tanya Chutkan, but who is she exactly? 

Judge Chutkan has a reputation for being tough.

As a judge for the U.S. District Court of D.C., she's sentenced at least three dozen people involved in the Capitol insurrection. All of them received prison time, and many of them had tougher sentences than prosecutors initially asked for.

One of them was Mark Ponder, who was caught on camera hitting former U.S. Capitol Sergeant Aquilino Gonell with a pole during the insurrection.

SEE MORE: Ex-Trump lawyer Ty Cobb: 'This will be a very detailed case'

Judge Chutkan sentenced Ponder to five years in prison, matching the longest Jan. 6 sentence yet.

During Ponder’s sentencing, Judge Chutkan recalled seeing footage of the Jan. 6 attack and said, "I cannot imagine what Sergeant Gonell and his fellow officers were feeling as they were attacked repeatedly by a mob that was hellbent to kill them to get to where they wanted to go. I continue to be shocked by what I saw."

Former President Barack Obama appointed Judge Chutkan to the court in 2014. Now she’ll oversee the criminal case of a former Commander in Chief who’s accused of inciting the insurrection.

While Judge Chutkan was randomly assigned to the case Tuesday, this will not be her first brush with former President Trump.

In November of 2021, she ruled against his attempt to stop the Jan. 6 committee from accessing hundreds of pages of records from the Trump White House. That ruling may provide insight into how Judge Chutkan will approach Trump’s case, with her writing, "Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President."

Trump's next hearing for this case is set for August 28 at 10 a.m. ET.


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