Chris Hayes Recalls Trump’s Impeachment Defense That Presidents Don’t Have Immunity: ‘You Did Not Hallucinate That’ | Video

The ex-president’s lawyers “are making literally the opposite argument to a receptive Supreme Court,” Hayes warns

On Friday’s episode of “All In,” Chris Hayes zeroed in on “one of the most galling” things about the Supreme Court hearing over Donald Trump’s disturbing claim of ‘presidential immunity.’

Trump of course wants the Supreme Court to declare that presidents have full legal immunity for any crimes committed in office, even if they assassinate their political rivals. Literally. But as Hayes reminded viewers on Friday, in 2021, when after several weeks of inexplicable dithering congress attempted to impeach Trump trying to overthrow the U.S. government on Jan. 6, Trump’s attorneys defended him by explicitly saying presidents do not have any kind of legal immunity.

In addition, Hayes expressed real fear about the fact that several members of the Supreme Court’s right wing majority appear to fully agree with Trump’s current immunity defense and are “reconceptualizing the president in real time as a sort of lawless dictator.” And later, he spoke about the issue at length with New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie. You can watch the whole segment above now.

Hayes began the segment by discussing the oral arguments in front of SCOTUS on Thursday, where Trump’s lawyers are “arguing before the Supreme Court that he should have immunity from his 2020 election interference case.”

Their arguments, Hayes said, “were frankly shocking. Many legal service people I know personally, who bore no illusions about this court, were genuinely taken aback by the fact that conservative justices seemed to be almost openly colluding with Donald Trump, reconceptualizing the president in real time as a sort of lawless dictator and just ignoring all the constitutional textual historical evidence that points in the other direction.”

Hayes continued, “to my mind, one of the most galling things and it didn’t get mentioned yesterday during the arguments, but it’s worth mentioning here is that during Donald Trump’s own impeachment trial for this very matter — his attempts to overturn the election — his own lawyer, before the nation, before the Senate, argued the literal opposite of what his lawyer is now arguing to the Supreme Court.”

Hayes then played a clip of Trump’s attorney in 2021 saying, and this is a direct quote, “There is only the text of the Constitution which makes it very clear that a former president is subject to criminal sanction after his presidency, for any illegal acts he commits.”

“You did not hallucinate that,” Hayes responded before reciting that quote again in full. “That was the argument Trump’s lawyers used in 2021 to help avoid conviction in the Senate. Don’t worry, you can vote to acquit him and we all still know, because it’s obvious, that he could face criminal sanctions.”

“Now, his lawyers across the street in the Supreme Court Three years later, are making literally the opposite argument to a receptive Supreme Court,” Hayes added.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.