Former US president Donald Trump has announced his intention to request a different judge to preside over the case and to have the trial moved out of Washington.
The twice-impeached Republican, who is eyeing a return to the White House in 2024, faces charges related to attempts to overturn the 2020 election results and defraud the United States.
Trump’s criticism was directed at US District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, an appointee of Democratic former president Barack Obama, who was randomly assigned to the case in Washington.
The former president voiced concerns about receiving a fair trial under her jurisdiction, taking to his Truth Social platform to express his discontent.
“We will be immediately asking for recusal of this judge on very powerful grounds, and likewise for venue change,” said Trump, emphasizing that he believes Washington, a majority Black city that leans heavily Democratic, may not be the most impartial location for his trial.
Trump’s lawyer, John Lauro, confirmed the intention to seek a change of venue but clarified that a final decision has not been reached yet.
He mentioned plans to conduct polling and quantitative analysis to gauge public reaction to the indictment before proceeding.
Judge Chutkan, who has a history with Trump, having ruled against him in a 2021 case, has rejected recent demands from Trump’s legal team.
She denied their motion to extend a deadline for responding to the US government’s protective order request that could limit what Trump and his lawyers can disclose publicly about the case.
In an unexpected twist, former vice president Mike Pence, a key figure in the case, stated that he would not object to testifying in Trump’s trial.
Despite the ongoing legal challenges, Trump continues to enjoy significant support within his party.
Polls indicate he holds a substantial lead for the Republican presidential nomination, with his closest rival being Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The trial date for the election case is set to be announced on August 28 at a hearing before Judge Chutkan.