‘Chris Hayes opened up Thursday’s episode of MSNBC’s “All In” with a commentary on Trump’s latest legal issues. But rather than focus on comments the multiply indicted ex-president said in court earlier in the day, Hayes laid out the case for getting to his trials concerning his presidential lawbreaking “Swiftly.”
Hayes clarified that “it is wholly improper and illegitimate for the justice system to hurry up for the purpose of hurting Donald Trump politically.” But, he argued, “what is a legitimate argument and an important one… is that there is a public interest to bring Donald Trump to trial swiftly. Trying the ex president would definitively establish whether or not he did what he is accused of. And that information that is information that voters deserve to have.”
You can watch the whole clip at the top of the page now.
Hayes began by noting that Trump “closing argument” this week in the New Hampshire GOP primary was his claim that U.S. presidents are immune from the law, even if they murder people.
Trump’s lawyers have been arguing this in order to derail the various cases against Trump, and the claim was argued before a judge 16 days ago.
“And now, over 2 weeks later, we’re still waiting for the judge’s decision, as Trump racks up delegates in the primary, and the election looms closer every day,” Hayes said. “Meanwhile, many people are understandably anxious to find out if Donald Trump actually can be held legally accountable for an effort to overthrow America’s constitutional republic, culminating in January 6.”
“The Problem,” Hayes explained, “is that the justice system is slow. Justice system doesn’t work on anyone else’s timeline, not a campaign timeline, and certainly not a cable news timeline.” As an example, Hayes noted the case of Peter Navarro, who defied congress during the Jan. 6 Committee hearings and was sentenced on Thursday to 4 months in prison for contempt of Congress.
“I don’t feel any particular joy at all about a 74 year old man going to prison for four months. But Peter Navarro’s sentencing is welcome news in the sense it is absolutely necessary for there to be some measure of legal accountability for the people who committed gross crimes against our democracy,” Hayes continued. “Once again, the problem is the timing.”
Navarro’s sentence won’t deter anyone, Hayes argued, because the Jan. 6 Committee has been disbanded, and in addition he’s not even being forced to sit in prison during the appeals process. Similarly, Hayes noted, Navarro’s co-conspirator Steve Bannon was convicted more than a year ago and he’s still free on appeal too.
“We’ve got two sayings about the justice system. They’re cliches but, you know, people use it for a reason. And I think they get at the heart of this whole conflict,” Hayes said. “One is ‘justice delayed is justice denied.’ If the legal system moves too slowly, then it can’t deliver justice at all. And the other, in direct tension with that idea, is ‘the wheels of justice turn slowly but grind exceedingly fine.’ So yes, the legal system moves slowly but it gets the right result and it has to grind slowly to grind fine.”
But, Hayes explained, “we live in the era of Donald Trump whose strategy at every turn is to test the law to kind of get away with as much as possible. And one of the ways he does that is delay, delay, delay, long enough for issues to become moot, or for him to return to the White House or for litigants to just give up and we’ve seen that over and over.”
Hayes then listed multiple examples of this working out for Trump, which brought him to “the most high stakes case of all: the four criminal cases against Donald Trump, totaling 91 felony counts” connected to his attempts to overthrow the government in 2021.
“The speed at which these cases move is obviously absolutely critical. This is a zero sum game. This is a finite thing. There are 284 days left until the election. Every single day competent lawyers are able to delay the proceedings, to push back on trial is a victory for the ex president,” Hayes said, noting the unfortunate fact that the most important of these cases is on hold until there is a decision on Trump’s immunity claims.
“Now I want to be very crystal clear here: It is wholly improper and illegitimate for the justice system to hurry up for the purpose of hurting Donald Trump politically. That’s not what we want and not what I’m saying,” Hayes continued. “But what is a legitimate argument and an important one… is that there is a public interest to bring Donald Trump to trial swiftly… Trying the ex-president would definitively establish whether or not he did what he is accused of. And that information that is information that voters deserve to have.”
“Don’t you think if he’s acquitted, not guilty, voters should know that? That’s the information everyone should have before they decide if they want to send them back to the White House,” Hayes went on.
“The question is, will that key information — is the man guilty or not of attempting to subvert the Constitution — that key information and the ability to make an informed choice with it, will that be taken away from the 150 million Americans who are going to vote in November?” Hayes concluded.
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