CNN senior legal analyst and former prosecutor, Elie Honig, appeared on the Bulwark’s podcast Thursday and made the assertion that former President Trump is “untouchable” in key cases against him and it is unlikely that he will be charged over possession of classified documents.
(Audio Credit: The Bulwark)
Honig has just released a book titled “Untouchable: How Powerful People Get Away with It.” He went on the podcast to specifically discuss potential criminal indictments against Trump. He is predicting that the former president will avoid any serious criminal prosecution in the cases that have been filed against him.
As the podcast was winding down, Honig noted that Attorney General Merrick Garland is unlikely to charge the former president over classified documents. That is a fairly obvious observation since charging Trump with possessing classified material would lead to President Biden also being charged, which the left wants to avoid.
Honig disingenuously claimed that there is a “very obvious argument that Trump’s conduct appears to be criminal, but Biden’s and Pence’s does not. That said, I do think the atmospherics of it have become much more difficult for Garland, and it’s hard for me to envision Garland saying, on something that are both documents cases in the view of many, ‘I’m going to indict and again seek to imprison the guy who’s running against my boss, but not my boss and not Mike Pence.‘ That’s a tough needle for him.”
“Yeah, I don’t think he’s going to be able to thread that needle. So what do you think is going to happen? It should have happened earlier. It is perhaps too late. What do you think will happen? Will Jack Smith? Will Fani Willis, will they bring criminal charges in the next three or four months?” host Charlie Sykes asked the CNN analyst.
Oh and: here’s the bookhttps://t.co/BOWdNQesSf
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) January 27, 2023
Smith is the special counsel tasked with looking into Trump’s possession of classified documents and his alleged actions surrounding Jan. 6th. Willis is heading up the Fulton County investigation into alleged efforts of voter tampering by Trump in Georgia. None of that has produced anything and is unlikely to do so since it appears there is no there there.
“For you, Charlie, I’ll go briefly into predictions mode, and I’ll phrase this all as more likely than not,” Honig responded. “I’m not saying any of these are locks. More likely than not Fani Willis does indict Donald Trump in the next few months. As I lay out in the book, I think that’s going to be a very difficult case to convert from indictment to conviction.”
“The special counsels have to recommend what they want to Garland but Garland ultimately has the final say. I believe Jack Smith will recommend indicting on Mar-a-Lago. I say that partially because I know two of the people on Jack Smith’s team. They haven’t told me. I haven’t spoken with them. I don’t know anything, but I know who they are. They were SDNY prosecutors who are supremely aggressive. There’s no way they left their prior gigs to go over and take a huge pay cut and not charge Donald Trump,” he added.
Then Honig laid the final decision at Garland’s feet and contends it is unlikely that the DOJ will indict Trump.
Why former President Donald Trump is referred to as a "lawless Houdini" in @eliehonig's new book, "Untouchable" pic.twitter.com/A6NiXxi8pU
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) February 2, 2023
“But if Jack Smith does recommend that Merrick Garland can overrule him. So I think it’s likely Smith recommends an indictment on documents. I’m 50/50 on whether Garland goes along with it. I do not think DOJ ends up indicting Trump on January 6th. I think for the reasons I just said. I think Garland could have done it. I think it’s going to be too late,” Honig surmised.
“I think he’s going to have the heat taken off him by a Fani Willis indictment. I think it’s going to be much easier for Garland to pass if the state and by the way, he’ll be able to point to that Justice manual I talked about before, which said if someone’s already being prosecuted by another prosecutor for largely the same conduct, that’s a factor against charging,” he continued.
Honig made it pretty clear that the whole January 6th witchhunt isn’t going anywhere.
“It doesn’t say you should give him a pass, but it says you should wait. So I would be shocked if DOJ charged Trump over January 6th. I think we’re going to see some combination of county-level charges and documents-related potential charges. But again, both of those are going to be really difficult,” he remarked.
“So at the end of this, at the end of the day, Donald Trump will effectively still be untouchable. To go back to the title of your book?” Sykes stated.
This your reminder that Trump is untouchable and it’s hurting you pic.twitter.com/TztC8Vm43L
— Matt Skyelon (@Logic_Detector) January 25, 2023
Then Honig made a revelation that many will miss: That the persecution and prosecution of Trump were, in effect, meant to bump him out of the race for the presidency.
“That I think is going to be the key question, because, I mean, I think the theory of the case of many of these Republicans that are running against him, is that something, quote-unquote, something some magical thing will happen that will clear the lane? What could that be?” Sykes posited.
“An indictment could go either way. Either the base rallies around him and decides, you know, I’m sorry, we got to stick with the guy through thick and thin, or it simply adds to the Trump fatigue. Like, okay, we love the guy, but there’s just too much baggage and everything. Based on past experience, I’m thinking the rally around seems more likely. But again, we don’t know. But if I’m building my entire political theory of the case of 2024 on the fact that the Fani Willis indictment is going to take out Donald Trump, I think that feels very naive,” he said, dashing the hopes of rabid leftists who hate Trump.
“I agree,” Honig chimed in.
“Given the past, given Trump’s track record, and given the way that he will weaponize this,” Sykes asserted.
“I agree with you. And there’s even a chance that Trump goes into the federal courts on that theory that I said before and gets this case thrown out,” Honig predicted.
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