Hayden on the Supreme Court Decision to Hear Trump Immunity Claim

Veteran defense attorney Joe Hayden says that given the limitations Special Counsel Robert Mueller put on his testimony and the logistical challenges of the questioning, the House Judiciary Committee hearings accomplished as much as was realistically possible to inform the public and confirm the high points of the Mueller Report.

There is no way to sugarcoat this. The decision by the United States Supreme Court to hear the appeal of Donald Trump on his claim that he has presidential immunity for conduct while in office allegedly involving his official acts makes it highly unlikely, but not impossible, that the American public will not have a verdict prior to the November election. If this happens, our judicial system has failed. Oral argument has been scheduled for the week of April 22nd, and if the Court were to decide the case in the normal course, a decision will not be rendered until mid to late June.

Given the amount of preparation time the trial Judge has promised the parties—88 more days—it is hard to see a trial starting much before Labor Day. The question for the trial Judge will be whether she wants to start a trial which will not conclude until after voting and the election. (Think of the practical issue of whether we want jurors who will be deciding Trump’s fate actually voting prior to deliberations). Ultimately the immunity appeal will be rejected, but the injustice is that there is no reason to decide the issue now in light of the scholarly decision by the Court of Appeal. There is a way to fast track a decision, but our Supreme Court seems disinclined to do so.

Veteran defense attorney Joe Hayden is InsiderNJ’s legal advisor. 

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