The judge in Donald Trump’s federal election meddling case has said she will not recuse herself, despite the ex-president’s requests she step aside.
His legal team argued some of her past comments create a perception of bias against the former president.
She has now ruled his lawyers failed to present evidence of those claims.
Judge Tanya Chutkan is overseeing the federal case in which Mr Trump is accused of a conspiracy to overturn his 2020 election loss.
Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges in the case, which is being brought by special counsel Jack Smith.
Last month’s filing by Mr Trump’s lawyers did not expressly call the judge prejudiced against him, but says certain statements she has made in her court “create a perception of pre-judgement incompatible with our justice system”.
In her ruling on Wednesday, Judge Chutkan said the comments cited by his legal team “certainly do not manifest a deep-seated prejudice that would make fair judgement impossible”.
“It bears noting that the court has never taken the position the defence ascribes to it: that former ‘President Trump should be prosecuted and imprisoned,'” Judge Chutkan wrote.
“And the defence does not cite any instance of the court ever uttering those words or anything similar.”
Under US federal law, any judge of the United States must voluntarily recuse themselves in any proceeding in which their impartiality might reasonably be questioned.
Mr Trump’s lawyers could now appeal to a higher court requesting that she be required to step aside.
This is not the first time Mr Trump has lost a motion to force out a judge overseeing one of his cases.
Last month, the judge presiding over his hush-money case, Juan Manual Merchan, declined to step aside after ruling that he definitely has the “ability to be fair and impartial”.
Judge Chutkan, who was appointed by then-President Barack Obama in 2014, has earned a reputation for harsh punishments against the rioters who stormed the Capitol on 6 January 2021.
She was randomly assigned to oversee this federal case against Mr Trump.
Mr Trump, the current frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, faces mounting legal troubles.
He has been criminally indicted four times, including in this federal investigation into efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election.
On Tuesday, Mr Trump suffered one of his most striking legal blows yet when a New York judge ruled that he committed fraud by repeatedly misrepresenting his wealth by hundreds of millions of dollars.