- Trump filed a lawsuit to block the release of White House documents about the Capitol riot.
- Judge Tanya Chutkan was randomly assigned to hear the lawsuit, Reuters reported.
- Chutkan has previously handed down harsh sentences to Capitol riot defendants.
A federal judge assigned to former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit filed to stop the release of records to House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has previously slammed the insurrection and handed out harsh sentences to defendants.
Trump on Monday filed a lawsuit in Washington, DC, citing executive privilege as a reason that Trump-era White House documents relating to the attack should not be released to the bipartisan congressional committee investigating it.
US District Judge Tanya Chutkan was on Tuesday randomly assigned to hear the case, Reuters reported.
-Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) October 18, 2021
In a separate court case earlier this month, Chutkan had described the pro-Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol in January as a “violent mob seeking to overthrow the lawfully elected government,” adding that the crowd posed a “very real danger” to democracy, CNN reported.
The comments came during her sentencing of Matthew Mazzocco, who pleaded guilty to illegally demonstrating in the Capitol building. Chutkan sentenced Mazzocco to 45 days in jail, marking the first time a Capitol riot participant had been sent to jail without prosecutors asking first.
The prosecution had asked for home confinement but Chutkan said, according to The Washington Post: “There have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government, beyond sitting at home.”
Chutkan has also handed sentences of at least 14 days to other participants in the insurrection, Reuters reported.
At least 11 participants in the January 6 riot have received sentences so far.
The case filed by Trump, which Chutkan is set to hear, represents a significant point in the congressional committee’s attempts to obtain extensive information about the Capitol riot which is held by the National Archives.
Trump argued in the lawsuit that he and his associates were protected by executive privilege and said the committee’s subpoenas were “invalid and unenforceable through the Constitution and the laws of the United States.”
As well as issuing subpoenas for the tranche of White House documents, the committee has also subpoenaed several of Trump’s former aides, including Steve Bannon.
President Joe Biden’s administration has flatly rejected the arguments in Trump’s lawsuit. The Associated Press reported on Monday that the White House counsel had written to Bannon – who is refusing to comply with the subpoena – saying that “at this point we are not aware of any basis for your client’s refusal to appear for a deposition.”