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George Conway Explains: SCOTUS order could be BAD NEWS for Trump

March 1, 2024
Notes
Transcript
George Conway explains to Sarah Longwell why he thinks everyone is wrong, and the Supreme Court’s decision to take up Trump’s immunity appeal could be bad news for Trump’s reelection bid. George also gives a lesson on immunity and the 14th Amendment.

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This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:00

    I think there’s still a good chance the trial of the case could actually begin in the fall.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:06

    If he’s on trial right then,
  • Speaker 3
    0:00:08

    That is not good for me.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:09

    That
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:09

    is not good for me. It really is sort of a gut wrenching thing to think that we could be in the middle of with a presidential campaign With six to eight weeks to go, and this guy could be on trial for basically trying to subvert the constitution of the United States.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:25

    Hello, everyone, and welcome to George Conway explains it all. I’m Sarah Longwell, publisher of the Bullwork And because I’m not a lawyer, I have asked my friend, George Conway from the society for the rule of law to explain the legal news to me. Okay. So
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:41

    Did anything happen?
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:42

    Did anything happen? So it was feeling like a quiet week when we were prepping for the show. We had a whole mailbox. Episode plan. We were just gonna answer questions from our, you know, brilliant, incisive listeners.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:53

    And then last night at like five pm, the Supreme Court just dropped its order and the immunity case. And then, like, right on top of that separately, an Illinois judge disqualified Trump from the ballot. It was just like boom boom. So no quiet week anymore. And guys, I promise we’re gonna do our best to do a mail to bag episode soon.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:12

    George, you haven’t seen these emails, but we got a lot of love from the listeners. And so do you have corgis whenever they make an appearance, one person wrote in to say that she feels like she’s taken a smart pill. Packing the Supreme Court with corgis. Yeah. That’s, some real resistance stuff there.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:31

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:32

    Okay. So let’s jump in. We finally heard from Scotis after what felt like a very long two weeks and to refresh everyone’s memory, we’re talking about special counsel, Jack Smith’s criminal prosecution of Trump in DC for January sixth than all the election interference leading up to it. Trump has argued that he is immune from criminal prosecution for the act committed while president, the DC Court, the Court of Appeals, we did whole episode on this, said in January that no, Trump is not immune from criminal prosecution.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:01

    Wrote a fabulous opinion.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:03

    Yeah. It was a great opinion. I don’t know why that didn’t just stand. Trump then asked the US Supreme Court for a stay so that the judge So the judge Chutkin in the trial court wouldn’t kick the trial into gear. Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:13

    And he filed that request for a stay like on February twelfth. And yesterday. So that’s February twenty eighth. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and set oral arguments for the week of April twenty second. Alright.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:27

    So I’ve got a ton of questions for you, including what this means for the trial timeline. First, I wanna ask you why you think it took two weeks to land on a pretty middle of the road path forward.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:39

    That’s a very good question. And I don’t think we will know the answer the true answer for many years. It won’t be until somebody does, like, what just justice Blackman does. And bequeathed all of his or her papers to the library of Congress. There are a number of operative theories.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:58

    One theory is that it took them a long time to craft the precise wording of the question that they want a legal question that they think the case poses. I I I’m not sure it’s worth speculating what happened. The the the important thing is to to the significance of what happened yesterday is twofold. One is it does delay the trial further.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:24

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:24

    And, as but as I said on the day that they denied that earlier cert petition that Jack Smith filed to try to get case directly. This was like back in January, back directly from the district court and skipped the court of appeals and go up to the Supreme Court and then everybody said, Oh my gosh. They They denied that. It’s terrible. And, man, my my view was, well, you’re gonna get a good opinion out of the DC circuit, which we did.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:52

    And the supreme court could always deny cert. And even if it granted cert, it would not grant cert in a manner that would kick the case over to the fall. And that’s exactly what happened here. In a case that’s that’s granted at the end of February or the beginning of March, I don’t think I have to go back to calendars of past years, but it’s very difficult to see how that a case, an an ordinary case would get briefed and argue before the end of the term. If you if you have a grant in March, a cert grant in March, typically what’ll happen is the briefing will take place, you know, in April, in May, in June, and then it’ll be set for argument in October or November.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:32

    That did not happen here. So they are expediting this. They’re just not expediting it. As fast as someone like I would want, which would be to reverse time and go back into a star trek, time warp and make it best make it three months ago. That said, they didn’t act as they didn’t move it as quickly as the special council wanted it to be moved.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:57

    I think the real question is, how long is it going to take them after this April twenty two argument? That’s when the argument is gonna how long it’s going to take them to decide the case after that? I don’t think it should take them that long. But, you know, it’s late in the term. They get backed up at the they get backed up in April.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:16

    They’ve got all these opinions. I don’t know how how backed up they are this particular year. And it’s possible we won’t get a decision until, till June. I’d hope that they get it out in two or three weeks. If they get the, you know, if they get a decision by May or June, it’s still possible there could be a trial in the fall.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:35

    What I think we’re seeing going to see is I mean, I think it’s gonna depend on judge Chuckkin’s schedule and whether judge Chuckkin wants to turn up the turn up the speed dial just a little bit more. To to to to get the case tried sooner rather than later, But I think there’s still a good chance, that this case would the trial of the case could actually begin in the fall. Which is kind of a stunning and it it really is sort a gut wrenching thing to think that we could be in the middle of, you know, after Labor Day with a with a presidential campaign with six to eight weeks to go, and this guy could be on trial for basically trying to subvert the constitution in the United States. We are so far in unprecedented territory. I, you know, it’s hard to know where where this is gonna go.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:34

    But I I don’t think that this I I don’t think I still think this case is probably going to begin before the fall. I don’t know that it’ll be tried to verdict by the time of the election. Another thing that I think it’s worth considering. I mean, there’s a lot of talk today that’s very angry angry talk about the Supreme Court about how this shows the fixes in. I I I don’t I don’t believe that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:57

    I don’t believe that the Supreme Court is going to hold or is intending to hold that if the five justices would hold that basically a president could seal team six on a political opponent and get away with it. That being said, I I do understand. The the feeling that some justices could have is like, well, this is really an important case. I mean, this is and it is. It’s it’s one of the most important cases.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:24

    You know, there’s all these whole line of cases involving presidential immunity. I I, you know, I I, I’m, I, someday somebody’s gonna, do the history of this, and we’ll find you know, what exactly was going on in the Justice Department? What what took it? Was it was it, you know, Liz Cheney in the January six hearings that really I I it seems that way you know, that’s it’s really a question for historians, and and historians of the Justice Department and historians of these proceedings and, you know, we may not live to see exactly read read the definitive historical account of what happened here.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:03

    Speak for yourself. I plan on being alive.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:05

    Whether Well, you’re younger. You’re you’re you’re half my age. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:08

    No. I for I think I think we will know sooner than you but let me I wanna back up and I wanna just tease out. Yeah. That was a long answer, wasn’t it? Well, it was you, you put a lot out there.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:16

    I did put a lot. And I wanna hit some of the highlights, and and stomp on them. In a good way. So first of all, the point you’re making is that I don’t
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:24

    want you to stomp on things in a bad way, because that’s really it’s really tough when you
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:27

    do that. Yeah. I know.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:28

    I know.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:28

    Not at it. I want to highlight and accentuate a couple of really important points. So one of them seems to me is that you’re saying, Hey, look. The Supreme Court was always gonna have to take this up because they wanna be the final arbiters. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:42

    But I
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:42

    and then they they they they they I didn’t say they all had to, but it would possibly It’s a pro it’s not inappropriate.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:49

    It’s not inappropriate.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:49

    It’s not inappropriate. I can understand it. I wish they had done it sooner. On the other hand, the the the the the the effort to skip the court of appeals is highly unusual, and I can understand justices saying, well, we don’t wanna look like we’re trying to, you know, light Trump at the stake by by expediting this because it’s just another criminal case. Of course, you know, that’s kind of a, you’re looking that’s looking at the case with blinders, but I can understand a a judge a judge saying that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:18

    Okay. So we’re so we on this podcast are not mad at the Supreme Court for taking it up as I’ve seen a lot of people be on Twitter. Yeah. Were you surprised though?
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:26

    I’m not exact. I don’t wanna give the Supreme Court an award for this.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:29

    Yeah. Sure. Did you think so? What did what did you think the chances were? And maybe, when we talked about this, I’m not sure why I don’t remember, but what did you think the chances were that they would have just granted outright, like, the, like, approved of what the lower court had said and been like, we agree.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:44

    I, you know, that that was my fantasy scenario. And, and as I I think I tweeted at one point that, yeah, this would be the scenario where the order would have come out yesterday saying, The petition for the application for stay is denied treating the application as a petition for Ritto certiorari. The sort of rumors for sure I was granted and the judgment of the court of appeals as a firm period. That was, you know, that would be that’s theoretically possible. There have been cases where they have done that they were never gonna do that in this case.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:14

    I’m I think I tweeted once, it said, I this is my fantasy scenario, but it would take a zillion billion it’s a zillion billion quadrillion to one. But the theory
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:23

    Those are long odds.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:23

    The theory of why it took so long could be that maybe they maybe they were crafting some kind of a purpureium opinion to affirm it, but I don’t know. And I do and and and you know, there there is you know, there is something to be said for the notion that there must be at some point, some limits on the ability to prosecute a president because what if Congress passed the law that was says specifically designed to infringe upon the president’s, constitutional powers by basically saying the president. If the president does get up at six in the morning, He he he will be prosecuted or something. Make a criminal like, you know, something ridiculous. And then the answer to that is You know, you don’t you can confine it to the facts of this case.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:05

    The facts of the cases. This is something where the president, was essentially trying to extend his term of office and and and and and and trying to violate, what’s called the executive vesting clause, which basically says the president is president for four years. And so it’s quite possible, and it’s quite possible with the Supreme Court wants to write an opinion or some justices want a right opinion that kinda fine tunes the the reasoning of the court of appeals to make it more precisely narrow to the situation at hand because you just don’t know what crazy hypotheticals could come next. The perfect example of, you know, uh-uh, you could have a dangerous situation where a former president is being prosecuted illegitimately. And that’s what could happen if a certain person gets elected this year.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:55

    So, you know, I mean, he is sort of presenting the, you know, it’s it’s kind of ironic that Donald Trump presents the very danger represents the very danger that he’s trying to invoke.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:05

    Yes. But the other thing we’re laying out there that’s really important is this timeline. Okay? And I just wanna I wanna hit this So people have it in their heads because you’re, are you, you’re saying, okay. They would set the oral arguments for April twenty second, which means, and we’ll know a lot.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:20

    Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:20

    Yeah. We’ll know. We’ll know. We’ll we’ll know a lot about what, you know, what the whether anybody has any issues with with the scope of the VC Circuit ruling.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:30

    Yeah. Okay. So we’ll know we’ll know some of it, but then they rule in May or June.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:33

    Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:34

    Probably June.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:36

    You know, I I I it really depends. I mean, you know, you could it depends on whether they’re dissents. It depends on whether the opinion as they say. I mean, judges have this phrase that says, well, I don’t know if it’s gonna write. You know, opinions have to write.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:50

    In other words, they have to flow that have to make sense. Sometimes you think, oh, let’s hold x. Judge will judges will decide, let’s hold this. This is where we’re gonna go. And then when they write it out, it doesn’t make quite a lot of sense, which I think is something that could happen in the fourteenth amendment case where they don’t really where they just make it seemed to wanna just make stuff up.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:10

    I don’t know. You you could it could be done in three, four weeks, and it could be done. It it might take to the end of the term.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:17

    I guess I guess I’m assuming June now just because it seems like they’re on board with the longer timeline. It’s not it doesn’t seem like they are burdened by the need to act with
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:28

    super expeditiously. No. Well, they they they did place the burden on selves to produce an opinion within six weeks, basically. Yes. By April twenty two, they they go they go home last week in June.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:40

    So they basically eight weeks, that they basically, combine themselves to a two month, period to write an opinion, and there may be separate opinions. So I, you know, I, I think the worst case is that it gets kicked to that we don’t get a decision until the, like, the last day of the
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:56

    Well, the only reason I think that I guess is because I’m just used to the Supreme Court holding the big cases until the end too. Of course.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:03

    It is because everybody, you know, it’s just just the nature of the thing. It’s the stuff that’s most important. You try to get the easy stuff out of the way and the stuff that you think is is more historically significant or the stuff that has greater ramifications, you you futz with more
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:18

    Yeah. To
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:18

    use the official legal term.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:21

    So so then okay. So
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:22

    I’m a New York lawyer, so I use words like Futs and Puts and Schmots and
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:27

    That’s okay. Scalia was famous for, Argo Bargel, you know, making up words.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:32

    No. That was a real word.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:34

    Arbo it is now. I use it to describe all manner of things. So, if that’s the case, alright, so will we say Mayor Gina?
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:41

    Yes, ma’am.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:42

    So I was on CNN this morning with and their CNN sort of legal analyst,
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:47

    Elliott Will Saletan. He’s he’s fabulous. So he was
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:49

    he was he was great, but he was arguing that he thought the timeline would be September October. And so my response to that was, okay, if that’s truly the timeline, I understand that puts us in unprecedented territory and everybody’s gonna feel pretty unstable. It’s gonna be wild. But politically, that’s bad for Trump. Like, if Of course, it’s bad
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:11

    for trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:12

    So so he would have then tried to delay. Like, right? But if he’s on trial right then,
  • Speaker 3
    0:15:19

    that is not good for him.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:20

    That is not good for him. And that’s absolutely right. I mean, that was something I was thinking about this morning on the train on the way up down here. Is that, you know, he may have ended up shooting himself in the foot. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:29

    I mean, what he really needed ideally was something that would push the case past November. And I don’t think this is this is quite going to be enough. I don’t think, you know, the only way it could possibly now go past really past November would be if Chuckkin just she just can’t fit it into her schedule, and I don’t think judge Chuckkin I don’t think judge Chuckkin is is gonna She she’s gonna prioritize this case. It’s me pretty clear.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:54

    On this point though, here’s a question. Could some of these other cases now that this gets pushed back? Could they go first
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:00

    Yes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:00

    And end up pushing this back by virtue of
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:03

    Yes. That’s that’s possible. I mean, it could be possible. I mean, it could be possible for example if Judge Cannon, decided all of a sudden to light a fire under her case. That she started a, you know, she decided to hold an August trial, then it would be hard to see chuck in ordering a trial until after that trial was completed.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:25

    And to
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:25

    be clear about what you’re saying, that But
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:26

    I I don’t I don’t know that that one. That’s not that I would not put that as a high probability scenario because she hasn’t been moving at the speed of light, although she did some things the other day that that seemed reasonable, with respect to, the production of materials to some of the defendants.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:42

    Okay. I guess in my in my mind too, maybe this is like too conspiratorial. I’m thinking like if she wanted to go put her case in front of that one in order to sort of take the more serious case, the January sixth case.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:54

    Oh, well, I actually do I mean, I don’t I don’t know that that that would that would be a terrible scenario for Trump as well because the document’s case really isn’t open and shuts or shut case. And that actually goes back to another point about the, about what the Supreme Court has done here. Again, not to, you know, not that I think they should be given an award for what they’ve done, but I can understand their logic behind it. One of the lot one of the logical aspects of it is it’s not just this January sixth case. Trump is asserting immunity in the Georgia case.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:29

    He is asserting immunity in the documents case. I don’t think that immunity could possibly get him out of the numerous obstruction charges, that he committed after he left office, but it might it might be it might it might have something that it it might could affect some of some of the some of the charges if he if he were to win the you know, because some of the stuff that he did bringing them down that he was president. He might have had some of these documents there before before January twentieth, but I don’t I don’t think it’s gonna affect that case, but you know, it’s a he’s making the argument. So it it might be worthwhile for the Supreme Court mindset. That’s just one more reason why we need to actually explain what we think about this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:15

    At that said, I would prefer them to do it one case at a time. And again, and then the other point I would I would have preferred them is like they they do It’s it is important that they decide the case. This issue at some point, but they didn’t have to do it before trial. They could always hear, an appeal from his criminal conviction.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:35

    What do you who do you think the individual justice is? It’s not to me, as much as I, perhaps have come to think of, Clarence Thomas as, and
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:48

    Belino.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:49

    No. I was gonna try to describe how he felt about Justice Thomas. His wife is married to a woman who is like a full on, insurrectionist, like, storm the capital type. Alido, is obviously has, has become more and more bold in public.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:06

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:07

    And I guess the question I have is is, but still still these people are Supreme court justices. The idea that they would just allow presidential immunity seems crazy. So who do you think is driving this
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:19

    sort of delay? I honestly couldn’t tell you. It could it it may well be No. I mean, the the only two theories that I’ve heard are that there was an effort to to toward a summary affermance. That failed to get the five votes, and was also triggering dissents.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:40

    So that means Kony Barrett or Kavanaugh
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:43

    Yeah. I I mean, yeah, I I if I had to guess the person who might be the most cautious, on this wild ending up in the right place would might be Kavanaugh. Mhmm.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:54

    And
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:54

    because Kathy, you know, because because Brett, I mean, Brett Kavanaugh has always been very protective of the prerogatives of the presidency. And he’s, you know, he’s thought about these issues a great deal. And he’s expressed concerns about about the potential for criminalization of of of politics and and and and of of of working the executive branch. Ironically, since he wrote the, wrote the facts section of the SARS report. But, you know, I I there there are legitimate concerns here.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:29

    About how you write this opinion. I don’t think any of those concerns affects the result in this case. I don’t see how a majority of the court could rule in his favor. I would be shocked and I would immediately catch the first flight to New Zealand. If if they were to reverse.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:50

    But, you know, they’re they’re Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:52

    If he’s immune from anything, you You you would yeah. I’m I’m
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:56

    you buy buy podcast. Yeah. Yeah. You know, we we Barry, Barry. I’ll I’ll I’ll pay for your plane ticket to to set up my my my uh-uh my podcast booth in in in my ski chalet in the south island of of
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:09

    That would be the worst ramification of Trump’s full immunity from anything. Is this podcast? Getting shut down.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:13

    Well, you’re you’re gonna have to come with you’re gonna have to come with because you’re you’re on
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:16

    the Lambo.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:17

    Yeah. You’re you’re you’re headed for Guantanamo too, my friend.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:21

    Okay. So I guess now we’ve established the timeline. I just I just do wanna reiterate that I I am I’ve because this is all I’ve seen is like the wailing and gnashing of teeth on Twitter, and I doesn’t That’s
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:34

    what Twitter is for.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:35

    I know.
  • Speaker 3
    0:21:35

    I know that that’s true.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:36

    It’s it’s it’s designed to keep
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:38

    the dental profession going. It’s true. It’s it’s designed to keep the dental profession going. Colleagues in the slack. It was just like, no.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:43

    And I Oh, no.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:44

    I have one of one of your bulwark colleagues was I’m on a tech chain with this colleague of yours and he quoted John McCain saying something like it’s always darkest before it gets pitch dark.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:59

    Yeah. It’s always darkest before it turns pitch black. Yep. And I kinda like them. Oh, that does what happens when they whack you, you know?
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:06

    He likes that phrase. I just this but to me, I don’t know if and I could see, look, there’s more things that could get in the way could continue to get pushed back further. I just Yeah. No. That’s right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:16

    That that and that’s the thing is is that there are things never tend never to speed up litigation. Problems arise that you don’t foresee. So that’s the real issue here is you know, this could get the trial two or three months after the Supreme Court rules. The other hand, there could be some issue that comes up that that doesn’t even doesn’t it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:40

    The score doesn’t even come up, right, the truck. And his I mean, they clearly you’re trying to
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:44

    make sure this happens after.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:47

    Because that’s what I mean, this immunity thing is is also about pushing out timeline. Right? I mean,
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:52

    and it’s very common for defendants to do that. It’s very not just in civil cases and in criminal cases, On the other hand, you know, some innocent defendants will say, I don’t think that government can try can prove its case. I wanna go to trial right away, and you can put the government to its proof. That’s not our friend, Donald Trump. Mhmm.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:09

    And so just since we have on many occasions now on this podcast, you have felt pretty confident that Trump is going to jail.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:16

    Yes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:17

    Did yesterday take any air out of that?
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:19

    No. I mean, look, the only way he doesn’t go to jail for something in my to my mind is if
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:25

    He’s president.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:26

    He gets two seventy electoral votes. Yeah. And in that case, it doesn’t, you know, it doesn’t he could be convicted in a state court in sentence, but they wouldn’t be able to execute the sentence. He could be con you know, and and and, you know, you just you can’t throw a president in jail while he’s present. Only way to get rid of him is to impeach and remove him.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:45

    Then he can throw them in jail.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:46

    Yeah. Well, when he’s in his fifth term and dies in office, he will have evaded. That’s
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:53

    Yeah. No. I mean, yeah, because he eats so well. So, obviously, he’s gonna live for a very long time.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:58

    Alright. So I wanna just hit this Illinois disqualification. Really quickly because there was that wasn’t, you know?
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:05

    Yeah. I I mean, basically, I’ve read Illinois. There’s something Cook County Judge did this, and You know, I don’t know what I I didn’t read the opinion.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:14

    Well, here, I’ll set it up for you. Right? So while we’re still waiting, for a decision. And from the Supreme Court on the fourteenth amendment disqualification case out of Colorado, in which in Colorado And in Maine, they’ve removed Trump from the ballot under Section three of the fourteenth Amendment for engaging in insurrection. So the judge in Illinois also removed Trump from the ballot.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:35

    Now, I’m guessing the Supreme Court decision in the pending fourteenth amendment case will impact this Illinois.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:42

    I suspect it will dispose of that. Case. Why doesn’t
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:45

    we have a decision in the Colorado case yet?
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:48

    Because well, when was it argued? I can’t even remember now. Is everything’s a blur. It was argued, like, three three three weeks ago, right, at least.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:57

    But before the Super Time is a flat circle. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:58

    I remember. I went it was right before the Super So it was like it was in that that’s how I remember things. So it’s been about two or three three weeks now.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:09

    February eighth.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:11

    Right. Okay. So that’s exactly three weeks. Because this is the February this is February twenty nine leap day. That we’re recording this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:20

    But I it’s not an easy opinion to write because They they are fighting the text of Section three of the fourteenth Amendment. And none of the off ramps have any clear legal basis. It’s clear from the argument that what they want to do is to make limit the state’s ability to prevent maybe all federal candidates or or the present just the president to to keep them off the ballot on a finding of of of having engaged in insurrection or violation of a a previously taken oath. You know, I don’t it’s it’s inconsistent with the fact that states not people off ballots all the time for failing to meet qualifications. And this would seem to be the easiest qualification to comply with, which is don’t engage in insurrection.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:28

    I mean, that’s my personal opinion. But does it mean that somebody if somebody can somebody if you prove that you’re they’re thirty five years old. You’ll be thirty five years old on on January twentieth, twenty twenty five. You can’t run for president. It means that yay, they gotta put they gotta put, you know, They gotta put a twenty year old on the ballot.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:45

    I I don’t I I they’re gonna have to figure out how to write this opinion and have it make sense. And have the lines that they draw not look arbitrary and then get five, six seven, eight, or nine people to sign on to it. And I don’t know that that’s easy to do. They they’ve taken quite a task onto himself because I don’t think One of the things I said from the very not the very beginning, but, when the Colorado Supreme Court decision came down, he’s like, the somebody’s gotta come up with better reasoning and this is support. Trump getting on the ballot because it’s just not it doesn’t cohere.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:23

    And, you know, the they’re obviously there are nine of them and they’re pretty smart. But, you know, I don’t know how you make that coherent and and get people to agree to it in a short period of time. So it’s not that it’s not an easy task for them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:41

    Trump is keeping those law clerks busy up there at the Supreme Court. Okay. We did get we’re gonna just take a few questions. Yes. And I think you just answered one of them.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:50

    Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:50

    Because, joy wrote in and asked that if Trump is elected, whether or not he can shut down Jack Smith’s prosecution.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:58

    In a in a back to he he he the there are a number of things that he could do. He could basically fire Jack Smith. He has the president. He has hour to do that. But I think it’s also I I I think it’s also pretty clear that under the justice department’s existing policies, that go date back to the Nixon and Carter.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:17

    I mean, not kind of Nixon and Clinton administrations. President, the the Justice Department position has been essentially for fifty years that a president, a sitting president cannot be prosecuted for a crime. So, you know, any, any, you could appoint, you could appoint Merro he could reappoint Merrick Garland. And Merrick Garland look at this and say, well, this is the Justice Department policy, so we have to drop this case. So
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:44

    the answer is yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:45

    The answer is yes. He doesn’t even have fire I think he could probably shut it down. And then and then if if if I mean, there’s no way the Justice Department’s gonna proceed with the prosecution of of of a sitting president. This is not gonna happen.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:56

    That might nullify the second question, but Jeffrey asks us whether Trump if elected is constitutionally able to pardon himself. I don’t know why all of you are writing in to tell me Trump’s gonna win, but yeah, go ahead.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:07

    Yeah. That that’s an interesting question whether he could pardon himself, and there is basic we know law on that, and it is something that law professors have written about. And I cannot I do not know what the answer is.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:21

    Because what he would do is he would pardon himself and basically then the Supreme Court once again has to figure out and make a ruling on it probably. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:29

    Well, I don’t even I don’t think there would be ever I don’t think we get litigated because somebody’s actually got the he he can’t pardon himself for state offenses.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:38

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:39

    He can only pardon himself for federal offenses. And the only way that would be tested in court would be if a federal prosecutor indicted him. And I don’t see the federal. It’s just never gonna happen.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:53

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:53

    It’s not it’s just it’s I don’t see how it gets ever
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:56

    You are hearing the reasons right now while don’t why Donald Trump is running for president again? When people say he is running to avoid jail, this is what they mean. Yeah. Because he can if he wins, do it. You know, people get really mad at me, on the Twitter’s when I say this, but, like, the courts probably aren’t going to save us.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:12

    I mean, part of the reason, not part of them. The reason I don’t know a lot about the legal stuff is because I’m not a lawyer, but I also have not I think like a lot of people invested a ton of time in the idea that what is going to get us out of the Donald Trump situation is the courts. Because I do think that the only way out of this is to defeat him at the ballot box.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:33

    I agree. And and that was, you know, with talk about the fourteenth Amendment Section three. That was my original view. It is my ritual. I would prefer to see him trounced at the ballot aux by a pro democracy majority because I think, you know, that’s that’s the message we need to send to the world and to our fellow citizens and and to the future that, you know, this is what we about America.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:02

    And this is we are Americans and what draws us together are is the rule of law, is the belief in in in in in in a system of just that is fair. And if it’s not quite the way we want it to be, we fix it and we work on that together and and and not try to destroy the system because that’s what What we have right now is we essentially have an a part a political party that is unprincipled and centered on nihilism that that basically wants to to basically destroy our institutions because they don’t like They they they don’t like the other people they’re sharing the country with.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:40

    Yeah. But this is why I think there’s this I think the reason people look to courts is there’s there’s a real fear right now that given the choice Americans will pick Donald Trump over the country. There there is, but majority of them. That said, I mean, that said he’s a
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:54

    I mean, but but then also to me, it’s more basic than that. The guy’s a criminal. Okay. This is a long time coming. He’s a fraudster.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:02

    He’s a rapist. He’s an insurrectionist. He he’s he’s a thief. He stole classified documents. He’s a you know, he’s everything morally legally bad that you could imagine.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:16

    He is the worst personal imaginable to be put in any position of public trust, let alone the presidency of the United States. And on top of that, he’s batshit crazy.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:26

    Okay. I’m gonna call it. I’m gonna call it right there. Alright. Thank you guys so much for listening to another episode of George Conway explains it all to Sarah Don’t forget to hit subscribe.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:39

    Leave us a review on your podcast app. And you can always send us more questions at ask george the Bulwark dot com. We will see you next week. Bye, George.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:48

    Bye.