Just two days after prosecutors requested a protective order to prevent Donald Trump from posting on social media about the legal case regarding his actions to subvert the 2020 election results, the very shouty former president shared multiple crazed all-caps messages to Truth Social about exactly that.
Trump posted to Truth Social on Sunday morning claiming that there is “NO WAY I CAN GET A FAIR TRIAL” with the current judge, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, and Washington, D.C. venue. Chutkan was randomly selected to preside over the trial.
“THERE IS NO WAY I CAN GET A FAIR TRIAL WITH THE JUDGE ‘ASSIGNED’ TO THE RIDICULOUS FREEDOM OF SPEECH/FAIR ELECTIONS CASE,” Trump wrote. “EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS, AND SO DOES SHE! WE WILL BE IMMEDIATELY ASKING FOR RECUSAL OF THIS JUDGE ON VERY POWERFUL GROUNDS, AND LIKEWISE FOR VENUE CHANGE, OUT IF D.C.”
Trump has previously talked about requesting a venue change, floating West Virginia — a state he won in 2020 by 40 points and which he recently described as “politically unbiased” — as a possibility to host the proceedings.
Chutkan is the one of three district judges who has given Jan. 6 defendants harsher sentences than what the government has asked, matching or exceeding prosecutor recommendations in nearly half of her Jan. 6 sentences. She also issued a ruling in 2021 allowing the Jan. 6 committee to access files from Trump’s White House, including call logs, memos, and more — evidence cited by Jack Smith in the Tuesday indictment against the former president.
“It’s probably the worst draw for Trump. She’s the worst judge he could’ve gotten handed,” an attorney who has experience representing a Jan. 6 defendant told Rolling Stone. “She’s pleasant, she’s nice, and she’s fair, but she’s a tough judge with these Jan. 6 cases.”
Trump’s angry Truth Social posts came shortly after he attacked special counsel Jack Smith in a speech in South Carolina on Saturday night. “Deranged Jack Smith. He’s a deranged human being,” Trump told the South Carolina GOP Dinner. “You take a look at that face, you say that guy is a sick man. There’s something wrong with him… This guy’s a maniac.”
Prosecutors from the Justice Department on Friday requested Chutkan issue a protective order to limit the amount of information Trump can publicly share about the ongoing case. Trump’s legal team asked for an extension, but Judge Chutkan rejected their request, giving them until 5 p.m. on Monday to respond to prosecutors’ request.
Federal prosecutors argued that a protective order is “particularly important in this case” because Trump posts on social media about “witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him.”
For example, Trump’s post from Sunday morning, where he wrote: “DERANGED JACK SMITH AND OUR HIGHLY PARTISAN, AND VERY CORRUPT, DEPARTMENT OF INJUSTICE, COULD HAVE BROUGHT THIS BIDIN [sic] ‘OPPONENT’ CASE YEARS AGO, BUT CHOSE TO WAIT AND BRING IT RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF MY ELECTION CAMPAIGN. NO WAY!!! I HOPE YOU ARE WATCHING AMERICA. OUR COUNTRY IS BEING DESTROYED. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Judge Chutkan is expected to set a trial date on Aug. 28 at the first hearing she will oversee in this case.
More from Rolling Stone
Best of Rolling Stone