CNN senior legal analyst and former prosecutor, Elie Honig, went on the Bulwark’s podcast to break some bad news to the Trump-hating audience. Honig predicted former President Donald Trump will remain untouchable in the legal cases against him and will evade serious criminal prosecutions.
Honig said Attorney General Merrick Garland will not charge Trump over his retention of classified documents. He said there is a “very obvious argument that Trump’s conduct appears to be criminal, but Biden’s and Pence’s does not.
“That said, I do think the atmospherics of it have become much more difficult for Garland, and it’s hard for me to envision Garland saying, on something that are both documents cases in the view of many, ‘I’m going to indict and again seek to imprison the guy who’s running against my boss, but not my boss and not Mike Pence.‘ That’s a tough needle for him.”
Podcast host Charlie Sykes agreed that it is too late and then asked Honig about the other investigations Trump is facing. He said:
“Yeah, I don’t think he’s going to be able to thread that needle. So what do you think is going to happen?
“It should have happened earlier. It is perhaps too late. What do you think will happen?
“Will Jack Smith? Will Fani Willis, will they bring criminal charges in the next three or four months?
“I’ll go briefly into predictions mode, and I’ll phrase this all as more likely than not.
“I’m not saying any of these are locks. More likely than not Fani Willis does indict Donald Trump in the next few months.
“As I lay out in the book, I think that’s going to be a very difficult case to convert from indictment to conviction.
“The special counsels have to recommend what they want to Garland but Garland ultimately has the final say. I believe Jack Smith will recommend indicting on Mar-a-Lago. I say that partially because I know two of the people on Jack Smith’s team.
“They haven’t told me. I haven’t spoken with them. I don’t know anything, but I know who they are. They were SDNY prosecutors who are supremely aggressive.
“There’s no way they left their prior gigs to go over and take a huge pay cut and not charge Donald Trump.
“But if Jack Smith does recommend that Merrick Garland can overrule him. So I think it’s likely Smith recommends an indictment on documents.
“I’m 50/50 on whether Garland goes along with it. I do not think DOJ ends up indicting Trump on January 6th. I think for the reasons I just said. I think Garland could have done it. I think it’s going to be too late.
“I think he’s going to have the heat taken off him by a Fani Willis indictment. I think it’s going to be much easier for Garland to pass if the state and by the way, he’ll be able to point to that Justice manual I talked about before, which said if someone’s already being prosecuted by another prosecutor for largely the same conduct, that’s a factor against charging.
“It doesn’t say you should give him a pass, but it says you should wait. So I would be shocked if DOJ charged Trump over January 6th.
“I think we’re going to see some combination of county-level charges and documents related potential charges. But again, both of those are going to be really difficult.
“So at the end of this, at the end of the day, Donald Trump will effectively still be untouchable. To go back to the title of your book,” Sykes said devastating his audience.
“I think that’s where it will come out.”
Here we go! My new book – “Untouchable: How Powerful People Get Away With It” – publishes today.
The idea for this book came from all of you. My editor asked, “What’s the question you get asked most often?” The answer has now become this book.https://t.co/BOWdNQesSf
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) January 31, 2023