WASHINGTON – A federal judge rejected former President Donald Trump’s request to remove references to the violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 from his charge of federal election interference in a case that will go to trial in just over three months .
Trump tried to remove certain passages from the impeachment, which was returned in Augustarguing that they would inflame the jury and create prejudice against him even though he has not been accused of any crime of violence.
But U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote in a order Friday that there was no risk of the indictment creating bias among jurors because they will not receive a copy of the actual indictment to refer to during deliberations. The jury selection process may screen out potential jurors who have already read the indictment and been exposed to references to violence, she added.
“Regardless of whether the allegations at issue are relevant, the defendant has not met his burden of clearly demonstrating that they are prejudicial,” Chutkan wrote.
Trump’s motion, he wrote, makes “numerous inflammatory and unsubstantiated accusations” and “dedicates only one paragraph to the bias requirement,” in which the former president claims that the jury has been “exposed to the prosecution and its inflammatory and prejudicial accusations.” “. through media coverage related to the case.” But Trump’s motion “does not cite a single example of that evidence,” he wrote.
“In any case, voir dire The process will allow the court to examine and address the effects that pretrial publicity, including that generated by the defendant, has had on the impartiality of potential jurors,” Chutkan wrote. “When the trial begins, the court will also take measures to select the jury. any irrelevant and harmful material that either party attempts to introduce. Additionally, before jurors deliberate, the court will inform them of the actual charges and evidence they may consider in their deliberations.”
In its presentationargued Trump’s legal team: “Because the Government has not charged President Trump with responsibility for the actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, the allegations related to these actions are not relevant and are harmful and inflammatory.”
in a supplement presentationTrump’s team argued that “not a shred of evidence suggests that President Trump called for violence or asked anyone to enter the Capitol illegally.”
A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Chutkan’s ruling.
The judge’s ruling comes as a federal appeals court will hear arguments Monday on a limited gag order that Chutkan imposed on Trump in the election interference trial, one of four criminal cases facing the Republican presidential front-runner and one of two federal cases brought by special prosecutor Jack Smith. The silence order was temporarily paused until the appeals court hearing.
More than 1,200 people have been charged in connection with the attack on the Capitol, and online detectives who have assisted in cases against hundreds of rioters say about 1,000 additional participants have been identified but not yet arrested.
Trump’s trial is scheduled to begin on March 4, 2024. The former president has pleaded not guilty.