CNN legal expert Elie Honig provided insight into the ongoing legal battle involving former President Donald Trump during a segment on Monday. With the spotlight on Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into alleged federal election interference, Honig laid out a scenario on CNN where Trump could emerge not only unscathed but also exonerated.
On Monday Smith filed a motion with the Supreme Court of the United States seeking an expedited review of the case against Trump. The move, while seemingly aggressive, could paradoxically play into Trump’s hands.
“If Donald Trump is to win here, obviously Jack Smith’s federal election interference case is out the window. I also think Fani Willis’s case is doomed,” Honig explained. But the ramifications could extend beyond Smith’s investigation.
Honig pointed out that Fani Willis’s state-level case might also be in jeopardy, saying, “Yes, that is a state-level case, but the principles of immunity would apply whether it’s a federal or state level prosecution. Again, that’s if Trump wins.”
“And it definitely will not impact the federal Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, because that conduct was entirely after Donald Trump was president. But if he wins here, I think two of the four cases are going to be out the window,” he finished.
Honig strikes at the heart of what many Trump supporters have been claiming – that the case against him is more politically motivated than grounded in legal substance.
Smith’s motion – which has now been approved by the court – requested an immediate decision on the complex issues surrounding presidential immunity from prosecution. This comes amidst the ongoing legal battle where Trump faces a four-count indictment, which many critics, including Trump’s supporters, have labeled as baseless and politically motivated.
Prosecutors wrote, “This case presents a fundamental question at the heart of our democracy: whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin.”
The Supreme Court rapidly granted Smith’s motion Monday evening.
While risky, Smith’s move aims to ensure the trial, scheduled for March 4, happens on time. The Special Counsel wants to avoid any postponements that might delay the case until after the upcoming presidential election. His petition to the Supreme Court, therefore, opens a new chapter in this legal saga.
If the Court ultimately finds in favor of Trump, particularly on the grounds of presidential immunity, it could lead to a significant legal victory for the former President, especially with the election less than a year away.
Such a decision would not only vindicate Trump but also potentially set a precedent regarding the extent of legal actions against a sitting or former President. The move, while initially appearing to be a tightening of the legal noose around Trump, might just be the unexpected lifeline that the Trump camp has been hoping for.
Honig’s analysis suggests a potential turning point in the former President’s legal battles. A win in the current case could spell the end for at least two of the four major cases against him, a development that would undoubtedly be hailed as a significant victory by Trump and his supporters less than a year away from the November elections.