The judge presiding over the most recent court case related to the four-count indictment against ex-President Donald Trump is Tanya S. Chutkan, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama. She is the only federal judge in D.C. who has handed down longer sentences to Jan. 6 defendants than what the government had sought.
U.S. District Judge Chutkan, as reported by a Caribbean news outlet, has Jamaican-American heritage. Before her judicial appointment in December 2013 by Obama, she practiced law in Washington, D.C.
Chutkan has been involved in Trump’s legal matters in the past. She rejected Trump’s request to conceal documents from the committee investigating the Capitol attack on Jan. 6. Furthermore, she ruled against Trump’s attempt to use executive privilege to withhold White House documents from the same committee in November 2021, famously stating, “Presidents are not kings, and plaintiff is not president.” Both decisions were affirmed by higher courts.
Chutkan, who is 61, holds degrees from George Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Her legal career includes time as a trial lawyer and supervisor at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Her appointment by Obama was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.
Chutkan’s previous rulings include a decision against Public.Resource.Org regarding the removal of building and fire codes, as well as judgments against the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice in distinct cases.