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Judge Tanya Chutkan assigned to Trump’s election case

Engaged in handling routine matters on Wednesday, the chosen judge for Donald Trump’s new criminal case had her most recent and significant assignment lingering in her mind.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan seemed optimistic as she navigated through her duties while grappling with the gravity of her latest responsibility: presiding over the criminal proceedings against Donald Trump.

During an unrelated criminal case appearance, Chutkan exchanged a brief conversation with public defender Eugene Ohm, alluding to the case that will profoundly impact her life and the nation.

“How are you?” Ohm asked Chutkan to preside over special counsel Jack Smith’s new case against the former president, randomly assigned on Tuesday.

She said after a pregnant pause, “Good … I think,”

Ohm wondered, “Did you get a good night’s sleep?”.

“No,” Chutkan replied with a chuckle.

Ohm, turning severe, encouraged her to “be safe,” to which Chutkan responded, “I’m trying.”

In Washington, D.C.’s federal courthouse, a concise criminal proceeding centered on the case of Antone Watkins, who faced an indictment in March for unlawful possession of a firearm. Judge Chutkan, a former public defender herself, urged Watkins to be actively engaged in his defense and to ask questions of his lawyer freely.

“You need to understand that this is your life,” she cautioned him, emphasizing the importance of being mindful of the significant exposure he faces in a separate case in the D.C. Superior Court.

As the routine proceeding ended, Chutkan collaborated with the attorneys to schedule a future date for reconvening. When they explored the option of a late August conference, Chutkan mentioned that she had initially planned to be out of town that week.

“Which,” she said with a smile, “increasingly seems like a good idea.”

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