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CNN’s Elie Honig Says Jack Smith’s Trump Case Will ‘Get Torn To Shreds’ After Immunity Ruling

CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig said Tuesday that there may not be sufficient evidence to try former President Donald Trump in his election interference case after the Supreme Court’s Monday presidential immunity ruling.

The Supreme Court found in their ruling on Trump’s immunity appeal to toss special counsel Jack Smith’s case against him that presidents have immunity from criminal prosecution for “official acts” they take while in office. Honig on “CNN News Central” said the ruling’s inclusion of a prohibition on presenting evidence of “official acts” means Smith’s indictment against Trump will “get torn to shreds.”


“It was no surprise that the Supreme Court said, ‘prosecutors, you cannot charge somebody based on an official act,’” Honig said. “What caught me by surprise, I think everybody, is they said, ‘and you can’t even introduce evidence of an official act as part of your trial presentation.’ I mean, when you’re trying the case as a prosecutor, a lot of your evidence is stuff that’s not a crime in and of itself, but it’s necessary to tell the story. It’s necessary to explain the narrative, the context.”

“And so now, for example, in the January 6 case, apparently Jack Smith can’t even let the jury know about Donald Trump’s communications with DOJ, which are an essential part of the whole story,” he continued. “So that indictment is going to get torn to shreds by the time the courts are done with it. We’ll see if there’s even enough left there for Jack Smith to ever bring this case to trial. By the way, no way this case get tried or any of the remaining cases get tried before the election. That much is now clear.”

Trump faces four felony counts in Smith’s indictment pertaining to alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the case, denied Trump’s attempt to dismiss the case in December and originally scheduled the trial for March.

“This case will not go before the election. It will not be tried before the election, and here’s why,” Honig said on Monday. “Supreme Court has just said there is such thing as criminal immunity. The test, as we anticipated, essentially, official acts versus unofficial acts. We’re sending it back to the district court. And this is an important detail. The court says several times, whatever the district court finds can be appealed before trial.”

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