A federal judge who has harshly condemned the Capitol insurrection will hear former President Donald Trump's bid to block the release of White House documents related to Jan. 6.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama in 2014, has been assigned to preside over Trump's lawsuit filed Monday, in which he claims the records subpoenaed by a House select committee are protected by executive privilege.
CNN reports that Chutkan, while presiding recently over the cases of Capitol rioters, has described the insurrection as "a violent mob seeking to overthrow the lawfully elected government," adding that the crowd that day posed a "very real danger... to our democracy." Chutkan has also said that rioters "soiled and defaced the halls of the Capitol and showed their contempt for the rule of law."
"Speaking earlier this month at a sentencing hearing for a nonviolent rioter who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of illegally demonstrating in the Capitol, Chutkan made a tacit reference to Trump, saying that the rioter 'did not go to the United States Capitol out of any love for our country ... He went for one man,'" CNN reports. "And last week, Chutkan sentenced two cousins with extensive criminal records to 45 days in jail for storming the Capitol, a somewhat rare punishment among convicted January 6 rioters. In doing so, she blasted the men for their 'decision to take that protest and turn it into a violent occupation of the US Capitol ... at a time when we were attempting the peaceful transfer of power.'"
According to CNN, Chutkan "conveys a sense of toughness and control over her hearings."
Regardless of how she rules in the Trump lawsuit, Chutkan's decision is likely to be appealed. But time is of the essence, and Neil Eggleston, who served as White House counsel under Obama, said he believes Chutkan will handle the case efficiently.
"(She will) give each side 10 days to brief it, have a hearing and decide it," Eggleston said. "She knows whatever she decides is not going to stay with her."