Chris Hayes Says Supreme Court Is ‘Helping Donald Trump’ With April Hearing on Immunity Claim | Video

The MSNBC host says the multiply-indicted ex-president must stand trial for election interference because “American voters actually deserve the knowledge in either direction”

The Supreme Court on Wednesday announced it will decide whether or not Donald Trump can claim presidential immunity from charges of interfering with the 2020 election, but that it will not hear arguments in the case until April 22 — a delay that Chris Hayes decried on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” As he put it, “every day you cross through in red, you are doing Trump a favor. You are helping Donald Trump.”

“I personally think Donald Trump is bad and unfit for office,” Hayes explained. “And I think he should stand trial. American voters actually deserve the knowledge in either direction. If the man is acquitted, if he’s found not guilty of an incredibly grave crime — American voters deserve to know that as well, one way or the other.”

“The American public is owed as a fundamental public interest, as a democratic self-interest, to know whether in a court of law judged by a jury of his peers under full constitutional due process, the man is guilty or not of the greatest political crime of any man in history since the Civil War,” Hayes continued.

“Everyone here knows the score, but I cannot stress this enough. It’s like, I saw the news about this order, right? And it’s like, ‘oh, they’re going to hear the immunity case. They’re going to hear arguments,’” Hayes added. “And it’s like, OK, well, I guess that makes sense. There is a calendar on the wall. It’s got a certain amount of days on it, 200 days, and every day you cross through in red, you are doing Trump a favor. You are helping Donald Trump.”

Hayes drove home his point as he said, “The people in the Supreme Court know that. [U.S. District Judge] Tanya Chutkan knows that. Jack Smith knows that. Donald Trump’s lawyers know it, and Donald Trump knows it.”

Colbert also said that the SCOTUS decision is even worse than what Hayes described, because “whether or not they rule in his favor or against his favor, we won’t know ’til the end of June.”

“Yes,” Hayes said. “Probably, although I do want to say one thing. In ’74, in July, U.S. v. Nixon was argued — this is the case that found that yes, you can prosecute the president. They decided — they issued the opinion three weeks later. So, and this is an important thing to keep in mind about the Supreme Court, when they want to move fast, they move fast, baby.”

The heart of the issue is Trump’s argument last fall that, as president, he had full immunity from criminal acts and shouldn’t be tried criminally for his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol attacks. The trial was delayed, which prompted Special Counsel Jack Smith to ask the Supreme Court to expedite the federal case against Trump in December 2023 in an attempt to avoid more trial delays before the November 2024 presidential election. Trump asked the justices to do the opposite, and on Dec. 22, the court honored that request and sent the case to a lower court.

On Dec. 1, U.S. District Judge Chutkan rejected Trump’s presidential immunity claim. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit backed that ruling on Feb. 6. On Feb. 12, Trump asked the court to freeze that ruling, and two days later Smith asked the Supreme Court to reject Trump’s request.

Two weeks later, on Feb. 28, the court decided to hear arguments in the case. Choosing to push the court date back to April 22 likely guarantees that a decision will not be reached until the summer of 2024, and there may not be a verdict in the criminal case until after November’s election. If Trump wins the election, he can likely end the case against him at that point.

Hayes isn’t the only person angry about the decision. Also on Wednesday, Rachel Maddow told Hayes’ viewers that the delay was “BS.” She added of the Supreme Court, “They know it, and they don’t care that we know.”

Watch the interview with Chris Hayes in the video above.

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