well-established participation in improper campaign finance
activities," and its refusal to "substantially revise its
December credibility findings." Judicial Watch v. United States
Dep't of Justice, Civ. No. 95-133, Memorandum Opinion, at 2-4
(D.C. April 9, 1999). Specifically, Huang maintains that the
court improperly relied on newspaper articles filed by
plaintiffs counsel in Judicial Watch and that these articles
overstated Huang's "then-known involvement in any wrongdoing."
Reply to Plaintiffs Opposition to John Huang's Motion to Recuse,
at 4 (Filed December 29, 1998). Alternatively, defendant relies
on United States v. Barrett for the proposition that "recusal
might be prudent when a perjury bench trial involves testimony
from a proceeding over which the same judge presided, section
455(a) does not require it." United States v. Barrett,
111 F.3d 947, 951 (D.C. Cir. 1997).
The court begins by noting that defendant's reliance on
Barrett is misguided, as that case is inapposite.
Notwithstanding the fact that the present action is not a
perjury bench trial, the statement in Barrett upon which
defendant relies upon is obiter dicta, as the Court of Appeals
did not reach the merits of the recusal question. Rather, the
Court of Appeals in Barrett held that the defendant had waived
his right to request recusal by not raising the issue below.
Id. at 951. Further undercutting defendant's assertions
regarding Barrett is that, by its terms, the case reinforces
the fact that the statute, Section 455(a), does not require
recusal where a subsequent proceeding involves testimony from a
prior case. Id.
Turning to whether the threshold for recusal under Section
455(a) has been met, the court finds that defendant has failed
to demonstrate the appearance of partiality through an
"extrajudicial source" of bias or a "deep-seated favoritism or
antagonism that would make fair judgment impossible." Liteky,
510 U.S. at 555, 114 S.Ct. 1147. To begin with, defendant offers
nothing more than mere speculation that "some portion of this
court's statements concerning Huang [in Judicial Watch] was
based on an extra-judicial source." See Reply to Plaintiff's
Opposition to John Huang's Motion to Recuse, at 4 (Filed
December 29, 1998). Moreover, defendant ignores the fact that
the news articles he wishes to call "extrajudicial" sources were
presented to the court as exhibits to various pleadings filed by
the plaintiff in the course of the FOIA litigation.
Likewise, Huang's assertion that the credibility findings made
by this court in Judicial Watch have created the appearance of
a "deep-rooted favoritism or antagonism" also lacks merit. See
Liteky, 510 U.S. at 551, 114 S.Ct. 1147 (stating that "opinions
held by judges as a result of what they learned in earlier
proceedings" are "not subject to deprecatory characterization as
`bias' or `prejudice'"). While the Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit has stated that there is no blanket
rule whereby "a judge's activities during the course of judicial
proceedings can never reflect a disqualifying state of mind,"
United.States v. Haldeman, 559 F.2d 31, 33 (D.C. Cir. 1976),
where no extrajudicial source is involved, "only in the rarest
circumstances" can judicial rulings "evidence the degree of
favoritism or antagonism" required by Section 455(a). Liteky,
510 U.S. at 554, 114 S.Ct. 1147. The present case is not such a
rare case. To the contrary, the findings defendant takes issue
with fall far short of demonstrating a "pervasive bias" by the
court against Huang. Id. at 551, 114 S.Ct. 1147. Though
perhaps worded in strong terms, the views expressed by this
court in its opinion as to the credibility of Huang's testimony
in Judicial Watch were based on the record before the court.
United States v. Roach, 108 F.3d 1477, 1483 (D.C. Cir. 1997),
modified on other grounds, 136 F.3d 794 (D.C. Cir. 1998)
(affirming district court's denial of motion to recuse).
Specifically, in finding that "little of [Huang's] deposition
testimony is particularly credible," the court noted that such a
finding was warranted in light of evidence brought forward in
subsequent discovery. See Judicial Watch, 34 F. Supp.2d at
33-34 (noting, inter alia, that Huang had given
contradictory testimony and that his correspondence released by
the DNC refuted Huang's version of his role at the Department of
Commerce). Accordingly, because the court's findings regarding
Huang's testimony in Judicial Watch were based on evidence
presented to the court in the course of the litigation,
defendant's motion to recuse must be denied, as "strongly stated
judicial views rooted in the record should not be confused with
judicial bias." United States v. Roach, 108 F.3d at 1483.
For the reasons set forth above, it is hereby
ORDERED that defendant John Huang's Motion to Recuse is
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