President Donald Trump is demanding that U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell recuse herself from the upcoming trial of his supporters accused of storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Trump accused the judge of having a “deeply rooted bias” against him, an allegation she vehemently denies.
Trump’s legal team is asking Judge Howell to recuse herself before the trial of the suspects charged with offenses related to the riot begins in a Washington D.C. Federal Courthouse on April 20. In a filing, Trump attorneys contend that Judge Howell “made one-sided rulings” against the former president in the past.
The attorneys point to an incident in December 2020, when Judge Howell granted a temporary restraining order blocking Trump from invalidating the election results in Arizona. According to the filing, the ruling was “profoundly political” and showed an “evident predilection” toward former President Trump.
The attorneys further argue that starting the trial under the guidance of Judge Howell will tarnish the proceedings with an “unmistakable and irrevocable” aura of bias. They are asking the court to consider dismissing the case — which they argue is outside the jurisdiction of the D.C. federal court — or appointing a different judge.
In response, Judge Howell denied that her ruling was made with any bias against President Trump and said she was simply following the Constitution in ruling on the case. She went on to label the move to remove her from the case “strikingly unprecedented” and a “frivolous motion.”
Judge Howell has set the trial date for April 20 and assured Trump’s attorneys that she will provide a fair and impartial ruling during the case. She also encouraged them to focus on the merits of the case if they wish to have their argument heard. Until then, she has ordered both parties to be patient while she puts together a court ruling on the matter.
At this present time, it seems very unlikely that the Trump legal team will be successful in their petition to recuse Judge Howell, though only time will tell. It will be important to watch this case as it progresses, as it could have a major impact on the future of the justice system in the United States.