Judge Tanya Chutkan gets increased security amid Trump's Truth Social attacks: report

"Judges don’t have security under normal circumstances" unless there's a reason, like a threat, legal expert says

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Staff Writer

Published August 8, 2023 11:17AM (EDT)

Former President Donald J Trump (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Former President Donald J Trump (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

New security measures have been implemented for U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, the federal judge overseeing former President Donald Trump's election conspiracy case. CNN reported an uptick in security for the judge on Monday, as well as talks for security plans. "Ensuring that judges can rule independently and free from harm or intimidation is paramount to the rule of law, and a fundamental mission of the USMS," spokesperson Drew Wade told CNN. "While we do not discuss our specific security measures, we continuously review the measures in place and take appropriate steps to ensure the integrity of the federal judicial process."

The bolstered security comes amid recent seeming threats Trump made on his Truth Social platform, including several posts aimed at the judge herself. Jack Smith's team of prosecutors submitted a filing on Monday asking Chutkan for a protective order after Trump posted the following message last week: "IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I'M COMING AFTER YOU!" On Sunday, Trump said he would ask for the judge to be recused as well as a venue change for his 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. [sic]"

CNN legal analyst Elliott Williams said on Monday that "judges don't have security under normal circumstances" but they "can get it if there's some reason, if they've been threatened in some way." Williams predicted the situation would not affect Chutkan's ruling on the proposed protective order. "I worked for two different federal judges. They like to sort of put that stuff aside and try to rule to the extent they can on the facts and the law," he said. "And I would hope and think that's what the judge would do."