“NO WAY I CAN GET A FAIR TRIAL, OR EVEN CLOSE TO A FAIR TRIAL, IN WASHINGTON, D.C.,” Trump wrote in an all-capital-letters post on Truth Social, his social media site. He called for a US takeover of the city — which has limited home-rule powers under congressional supervision — a move he said would be unpopular with potential jurors.
In a separate post, Trump said he will be asking for recusal of the judge on the case “on very powerful grounds,” without citing any evidence. He said Judge Tanya Chutkan, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, couldn’t be fair.
Trump is accused in an indictment handed down last week in Washington of knowingly spreading lies about the 2020 election being rigged to undermine faith in the vote and remain in power. He’s fighting separate criminal prosecutions in New York and Florida — and faces possible charges in Georgia — all while pushing ahead with his presidential campaign.
Trump’s broadsides came as his Tampa lawyer made the rounds of Sunday television news shows, contending that the former president’s actions leading up to the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, were protected by First Amendment protections of free speech.
Attorney John Lauro said Trump would “absolutely” seek a change of venue. “We would like a diverse venue, a diverse jury that reflects the characteristics of the American people,” he said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “I think West Virginia would be an excellent venue to try this case.”
Trump won 69% of the vote in West Virginia in 2020, second only to Wyoming. He won 5% of the vote in the District of Columbia.