Judge Tanya Chutkan Praised by Legal Experts After She Issues Order for Trump to ‘Put Up or Shut Up’

Judge Tanya Chutkan Praised by Legal Experts After She Issues Order for Trump to ‘Put Up or Shut Up’
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Spencer Platt

Voters have closely been watching as former president Donald Trump's myriad of criminal trials unravel. Legal experts applauded U.S. District Judge Tanya Chukan's November 7 order requiring former President Donald Trump to establish proper grounds for his defense in the 2020 election subversion case, per Raw Story.

Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Win McNamee
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Win McNamee

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The former president's proclivity to disregard court decorum while continually receiving gag orders highlights the critical necessity for a judge who can properly supervise and govern his behavior ensuring fair judicial processes. “Judge Chutkan will require Trump to disclose by Jan. 15 whether he intends to use an ‘advice of counsel’ defense in his Washington, D.C. trial — and to provide relevant documentation of that defense at the same time,” Politico’s Kyle Cheney wrote on Twitter, praising the Judge's stance.

Trump might argue that he is not guilty of the crimes he is accused of because he followed the "good faith" counsel of his attorneys. According to this new order by Judge Chutkan, he must have “made full disclosure of all material facts to his attorney before receiving the advice.” Judge Chutkan adds that if Trump asserts that defense, he must renounce attorney-client privilege and provide the court with any documents and evidence relating to his allegation, even any that contradict his claims.


Trump has repeatedly criticized Chutkan, calling her "highly partisan" on Truth Social and at rallies. Most of Trump's criticism seems unnecessary, given that Judge Chutkan has been quite fair. She even offered Trump's attorneys an extension just this week, despite already having given them an extension. 

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“Very good development. Trump has to put up or shut up on this well in advance,” constitutional law professor and former Deputy Asst. Attorney General Harry Litman wrote about the order on Twitter. “Short point is that he doesn’t have the legal basis for asserting advice of counsel– and he’d have to waive privilege–so getting it out in the open early will preempt them from pulling fast ones,” Litman added.


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Professor of law and former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance agreed, “Trump will have a heavy lift convincing the Judge to permit him to use an advice of counsel defense at trial, among other things because you can’t rely on the advice of your co-conspirators, even if they’re lawyers. If the Judge rules against him, it can’t be mentioned at trial."

Chutkan, known for taking a severe approach to the Jan 6 Capitol cases, has repeatedly imposed sentences that match or exceed prosecutors' recommendations. In 23 of the 31 cases she handled, the punishments met or exceeded the prosecution's recommendations. In contrast, in over 80% of January 6 cases, judges in the DC federal court often award sentences lower than prosecutors' recommendations, per NPR.



“It has to be made clear that trying to violently overthrow the government, trying to stop the peaceful transition of power and assaulting law enforcement officers in that effort, is going to be met with absolutely certain punishment,” Chutkan once said during sentencing.

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