CNN's Own Legal Analyst Lays Waste to Panel for Saying Supreme Court Is Delaying Trump Immunity Decision

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

It doesn't happen very often, but occasionally, someone on CNN says something honest. That happened on Thursday after one of the network's own legal analysts laid waste to a panel meant to suggest that the Supreme Court is purposely delaying the Trump immunity decision. 


When confronted with a headline from The New York Times claiming "Something's Rotten About the Justices Taking So Long on Trump's Immunity Case," Elie Honig didn't take the bait. Instead, he decided to tell the truth, leaving the rest of his colleagues with no real counter-argument to make. He also made Manu Raju, who introduced the segment, look incredibly ill-informed. 

RAJU: So as of Tuesday, 110 days have passed since the court had agreed to hear the Trump immunity case, and the Watergate case took 54 days once it reached the high court. This is what the New York Times opinion piece said about this: "Something rotten, something's rotten about the justices taking so long on Trump's immunity case."

Is something rotten?

HONIG: I respectfully dissent from that view. I do not necessarily think something's rotten or erronouns or out of order. Let's put this in perspective. Watergate was a different era. The Supreme Court just doesn't function like that anymore, and Watergate involved the sitting president under an active criminal investigation. I understand the stakes here, but let's put this in perspective. 

The Trump immunity case, first of all, was the last case argued. All the other cases that John referenced were all argued many months before. Second of all, it's completely normal to get this sort of case dump in late June, sometimes into early July. This is when we get the big decisions. Third of all, everyone just relax, we are going to have this opinion within, maybe tomorrow, maybe within a week, but sometime really soon.

And finally, if you look at the actual timeframe here, the Trump immunity decision was rendered, at the district court, Judge Chutkan in December, to go from a district court ruling to a Supreme Court ruling in seven months is lightning speed. I understand everyone wants this as soon as possible. I understand the widely felt, not universal, but widely felt desire to get this case back to the district court so if there's going to be a trial, it can be held before the election, but I think people are sort of maybe venting some anxiety inappropriately at the Supreme Court. 


There's little doubt that Honig is sympathetic to those who want the decision to come down as soon as possible so a trial is more likely to be held before the election, but his explanation is correct. In fact, it's one many on the right have been stressing for a while. Here was my response to BlueAnon lawyer Marc Elias on the matter. 

The facts are simple. The Trump immunity case was the last one heard in this term. Not almost the last one, but the very last one. It would stand to reason that it would be the last decision rendered, given how compressed the timeline is. Further, the biggest, most controversial decisions are almost always reserved for the last week of the term. That isn't something new, and it's not being done to protect Trump. Everything we are seeing right now is completely normal.

What wouldn't be normal is further fast-tracking the immunity decision just so Democrats could take political advantage of a trial before the election. For the court to take that into account would be completely inappropriate. As Honig noted, for a case to go from a district court to the Supreme Court in just seven months is already extremely fast. 


Seeing the rest of the CNN panel trying to smile through it was pretty funny. You could tell they were screaming inside that this guy was supposed to run with the Times headline and keep the narrative rolling. That didn't happen, and Honig had one last bit of salt to rub in the wound.

HONIG: By the way, if you want to vent at somebody, look at DOJ who took two and a half years to charge this case, not the Supreme Court who is taking a grand total of a few months to decide it.

Right again. The DOJ had essentially all the "evidence" it claims to have today at least two years ago. Instead of just moving forward with the case, they chose to stand back and let the now-discredited January 6th committee finish its "report." That was a purely political decision and was meant to keep things flowing into the presidential election to influence it. 

SEE: Trump Trials, Election Interference, and Democrats' Severe Miscalculation

They miscalculated, though, and that's on them. It's not on the Supreme Court to break precedent and rush a decision just so CNN can have its big climax before voters go to the polls.



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