Former President Donald Trump appeared in a D.C. federal courtroom on Thursday to be arraigned on new charges and was addressed as “Mr. Trump” by U.S. Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhaya, sparking debate among social media users.
Trump entered a plea of not guilty to the four federal charges stemming from special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into 2020 election interference and the Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021, according to Fox News.
While some have speculated whether or not Trump would take offense at not being referred to as “Mr. President,” it appears that he accepted the court’s decision respectfully and without complaint.
“If there is one thing I know Trump loves that he’s called Mr. President now,” tweeted ABC Executive Editorial Producer John Santucci.
Left-wing commentator, Victor Shi wrote: “No mention of Donald Trump being former president. No special treatment. Treating him as just another man in a Courtroom. This is the rule of law at its best.”
But others called out the judge for the lack of respect.
Daily Caller’s chief national correspondent Henry Rodgers tweeted:
Every other president would have been addressed as “President” not “Mr.”… Let’s be real. https://t.co/WmzSluzenn
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) August 3, 2023
Supporters of President Trump have argued that the judge in question may have been following proper etiquette by addressing former President Obama as “Mr. President” in a formal setting.
This is supported by various etiquette guides, which indicate that the title should be reserved for the incumbent holder of the office and for formal settings, according to Fox News.
Collins: I am told that one thing that irked him particularly was during that hearing today when the magistrate judge referred to him as simply Mr. Trump pic.twitter.com/XPqoy8Wki8
— Acyn (@Acyn) August 4, 2023
U.S. District Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee, will preside over the actual trial for Jan. 6 rioters.
Upadhaya said that Chutkan plans to set a trial date of Aug 28th. The Associated Press ran a profile on Chutkan last year under the headline,
“In Jan. 6 cases, 1 judge stands out as the toughest punisher”; they noted that she has given tougher sentences than what was requested by the Justice Department in seven cases and matched their requests in four others—sending all 11 defendants to jail without prosecutors seeking it.
Notably, this includes an Ohio couple who climbed through a broken window of the U.S Capitol and were sentenced to 14-45 days despite no jail time being requested from prosecutors.
Unfortunately, this same judicial figure is also associated with Hunter Biden’s law firm which raises serious questions about her involvement in these proceedings going forward and whether justice will be served or politics will prevail.