Judge Chutkan Denies Trump Motion to Subpoena for Missing J6 Records

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts via AP

Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case against former President Donald Trump for 2020 election interference, this week denied a motion by the former president to seek materials he said the House Committee investigating January 6, 2021, had not turned over to the National Archives.

On Monday, Chutkan rejected Trump’s motion, accusing him of going on a “fishing expedition.

“The broad scope of the records that Defendant seeks, and his vague description of their potential relevance, resemble less ‘a good faith effort to obtain identified evidence’ than they do a general ‘fishing expedition’ that attempts to use the [Rule 17(c) subpoena] as a discovery device,’” she wrote in her denial.

Trump last month sought to subpoena seven individuals, including then-committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), who said he did not receive all the records, as well as other government officials over what his legal team called “missing materials.”

Loudermilk had said in a letter in June that only written transcripts from the committee were transferred to the U.S. archives after it dissolved and that video recordings and transcribed interviews and depositions were not.

Thompson has admitted that while he had turned over much of the panel’s records to the archives, and posted thousands of pages online, he did not turn over what the committee had not highlighted in hearings.

“The Select Committee did not archive temporary committee records that were not elevated by the Committee’s actions, such as use in hearings or official publications, or those that did not further its investigative activities. Accordingly, and contrary to your letter’s implication, the Select Committee was not obligated to archive all video recordings of transcribed interviews or depositions,” he wrote in August, according to The Hill.

Independent journalist and political commentator Julie Kelly, who has been closely following the cases of J6 defendants, slammed Chutkan as a “rubber stamp” for Special Counsel Jack Smith.

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 09: Special Counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks on a recently unsealed indictment against former President Donald Trump at the Justice Department on June 9, 2023 in Washington, DC. Former U.S. President Donald Trump has been indicted on 37 felony counts in the special counsel’s classified documents probe. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“This will be death by a thousand cuts as she acts like Smith’s rubber stamp,” she posted on X.

She added that “the irony is Chutkan, a shameless partisan appointed by Obama, wrote the 2021 order piercing Trump’s [executive privilege] claims to force him to produce presidential records to J6 committee.”

The trial is set to begin in March, in the midst of the 2024 presidential election. Trump is currently the leading Republican candidate.

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