OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
MSNBC host Jen Psaki became noticeably worried after a well-known legal analyst said he was in “freakout mode” over former President Donald Trump’s January 6 trial.
Former Acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal expressed concern about how consideration of Trump’s immunity claims is delaying his federal case on charges related to the 2020 election during an interview on MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki.”
Psaki asked: “As much as we’re all impatient, and as much as it’s not aligned with the timing. Give us a sense of what else could be going on behind the scenes here in your assessment. And if this is not gonna move forward soon as, I mean, in the coming weeks, could the federal election trial start in June, July and still be concluded before the election?”
“It could. I mean, my view is that actually the normal schedule for an appeal of this magnitude, with these types of public interest at stake, would have been that this case is would have been decided by now. So I understand, like an ordinary garden variety DC circuit appeal,” Kaytal said.
“It takes longer, I think, an average disposition time of about six months. But in the case of this gravity, it should be moving more quickly. Take, for example, when the Court of Appeals for the in the South, reversed the — Judge Cannon’s decision last year to protect Donald Trump. It took them, I think, nine days. And so, to use your phrase, Jen, at the beginning of this show, I am officially now at the freakout stage. I resisted that for a long time, but we are now at the point,” he added.
Psaki jumped in and said: “You don’t typically freak out, so that’s important!”
“Yeah. No, I think we’re now at the point, to use a different legal phrase, justice delayed is justice denied. I mean, I can’t imagine a more compelling need for speed than the idea that American citizens deserve to know before the election whether a candidate for office is a felon or an insurrectionist. And it’s even more galling to me because this is an easy case. There is no responsible constitutional scholar who thinks Donald Trump is right, that there is an absolute immunity that a president can go in, orders Navy SEAL Team Six to go murder his political opponent, and then go and murder the senators who would try him for impeachment,” Katyal said.
Katyal added: “That cannot possibly be right. And Judge Chutkan set a fast schedule here. And I have no idea what the Court of Appeals is doing right now. But I can tell you that I’m really worried that this delay is going to put the trial past June. It’s possible that Trump will try and go to the Supreme Court after he loses on the Court of Appeals. That can take months. This is a real problem.”
“Judge Chutkan, I think it’s important to remind people she’s just adapting to waiting for this ruling. So she’s just trying to adapt to. Okay, Andrew, because you are also known for keeping all of us calm here and keeping millions of MSNBC viewers calm. Where are you on the freak-out-a-meter here on your end?” Psaki asked.
.@neal_katyal: “I am officially at the freak out stage…I can’t imagine a more compelling need for speed than the idea that U.S. citizens deserve to know before the election whether a candidate is a felon & an insurrectionist.”@AWeissmann_ : “Neal & I are in violent agreement” pic.twitter.com/8WaqGwX1p1
— Inside with Jen Psaki (@InsideWithPsaki) February 4, 2024
Former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissman jumped in and said: “Neil and I are in violent agreement on this, and to just add a little fuel to the fire. I mean, the whatever, whatever judge or judges are slowing this in the DC circuit. It is akin to what Judge Cannon is doing in Florida. This is really not looking good for the federal judiciary, in terms of their responsibility to the electorate, whether it’s Judge Cannon who has basically issued a pocket veto on that case, and it’s really slow-walked that for no apparent reason. And you have the same thing going on in the DC circuit. So I agree, with Neal, that there really is no reason for the delay.”
“And if it’s coming in a case with that remember, the legal claim here that Donald Trump is making is absurd. It is it’s one of those things where at the oral arguments, the best argument against him was the judge getting a lawyer for Donald Trump to actually just say what his argument was, because it was so preposterous. So the idea that this is going to lead to losing, you know, the war, because even though this decision ultimately will be against Donald Trump, the delay is allowing him to essentially win the battle,” Weissman added.