Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is calling on his colleagues in Congress to investigate the judge presiding over President Donald Trump’s case, Tanya Chutkan.
Gaetz and others have been raising concerns about Chutkan’s political bias.
Chutkan, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is accused of conducting her court with open bias and partisanship in handling the cases of people linked to the January 6, 2021, protests at the U.S. Capitol.
Republicans have been raising the alarm after Chutkan was appointed to oversee the Jan. 6-linked get-Trump case related to the 2020 election.
Previously, she made headlines for dealing out sentences to members of the Jan. 6 crowd that were higher than those recommended by federal prosecutors.
In his resolution, Gaetz also accused Chutkan of backing the violent 2020 Black Lives Matter riots while, at the same time, openly criticizing the events at the Capitol.
The congressman is introducing a resolution in the House to both censure Chutkan and direct the House Judiciary Committee to investigate her conduct.
“It is deeply concerning to see a United States District Court judge show such blatant impropriety from the bench,” Gaetz said in a statement.
“Judge Tanya Chutkan’s impracticality of her tough sentencing of Jan. 6th defendants, despite openly supporting the violent Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, showcases not only a lack of impartiality but also a disregard for the sacred duty of a judge to uphold justice fairly.”
One of the instances that Gaetz’s resolution zeroes in on is an October 4, 2021, sentencing hearing.
During the hearing, Chutkan disagreed with a comparison made between the Capitol protests and the riots and looting after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020.
Gaetz cited Chutkan as saying:
“People gathered all over the country last year to protest the violent murder by the police of an unarmed man … to compare the actions of people protesting, mostly peacefully, for civil rights to those of a violent mob seeking to overthrow the lawfully elected government is a false equivalency and ignores a very real danger that the Jan. 6 riot posed to the foundation of our democracy.”
Gaetz also said the man she was sentencing at the time, Matthew Mazzocco, “was a nonviolent offender who spent merely 12 minutes on Capitol grounds and who urged others to remain peaceful on January 6, 2021,” according to the resolution text.
Chutkan had sentenced Mazzocco to 45 days in jail over the misdemeanor charge.
Trump and his allies in Congress and elsewhere have accused Chutkan of behaving politically.
The appointment of partisan Chutkan comes as Trump already faces politically motivated attacks from Special Counsel Jack Smith and Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration officials in the Justice Department.