Prosecutors with special counsel Jack Smith's team wrote in a court filing late Thursday that there was “no valid basis” for U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to recuse herself.
Trump's lawyers filed a motion earlier this week urging Chutkan to step aside, citing comments she made in separate sentencing hearings related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol that they say taint the Trump proceedings and call into question whether she has already prejudged the Republican former president's guilt.
Chutkan is known for imposing some tough punishments in the January 6th cases that have come before her. According to an analysis from NPR's investigative team, as of July 2023, Chutkan had given prison sentences to all of the 38 Jan. 6 defendants to come before her, even though prosecutors had only recommended 34 of them for prison. That stands in contrast to the other judges in Jan. 6 cases who have tended to be more lenient at sentencing.