Rachel Maddow Warns the Supreme Court Is Trump’s ‘Excellent Accomplice’ After ‘Stunning’ Immunity Hearing | Video

Following oral arguments Thursday at the U.S. Supreme Court over Donald Trump’s argument that presidents have complete immunity from prosecution, even if they murder their political opponents, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow had a bleak assessment.

The Supreme Court, she said, “has already been an excellent accomplice” to Trump, scheduling hearings in this case in order to help Trump delay his criminal trial for attempting to overthrow the government in 2021. But, she continued, “Even with that backdrop, the arguments today were legitimately, I think, stunning.”

What shocked Maddow was that Trump’s attorneys gave “confirmation that the appeals court hypothetical, that crazy hypothetical about Trump being able to assassinate his political enemies and never be charged for it… right at the start that that was not a fluke.”

“President Trump in fact maintains and his lawyers maintain that he really is immune from prosecution specifically for killing his political rivals,” Maddow explained. As evidence, she played recordings from today’s proceedings in which Trump’s attorney literally argued that point to Justice Sotomayor, just as Maddow said.

But, Maddow continued, “it’s not just assassinating his individual domestic political opponents. It’s worse than that,” at which point she played audio of Trump’s lawyer arguing to Justice Kagan not only that this claim of immunity could apply to treason, it could also apply if a president, in Kagan’s words, “orders the military to stage a coup.”

Trump’s attorney attempted to hedge his answer somewhat, telling Kagan that a president attempting to do a coup “certainly sounds very bad. And that’s why the framers have a whole series of structural checks that have successfully, for the last 234 years, prevented that very kind of extreme hypothetical.”

“You can see where he’s going at the end of this though, right? When he calls that an ‘extreme hypothetical.’ This is an important part, I believe, of how today’s proceedings when Trump’s lawyer, and most of the conservative justice today carried on with these proceedings at the Supreme Court, as if it is just a wild hypothetical, just a crazy pipe dream. Like a Martian scenario that a president might try a coup might try to use force to stay in power after he was voted out. Yeah, who could ever imagine something like that?” Maddow said, adding that Trump’s lawyer “specifically called it… quote ‘very very unlikely as a scenario.”

Maddow’s point was of course that Donald Trump has in fact already attempted the thing his lawyer called an “extreme hypothetical.”

Maddow then focused on how Justice Alito refused to discuss the actual reason for the hearing — Trump’s immunity claim is an attempt to avoid being prosecuted for trying to overthrow the government. And then, excoriating Alito for this, she elaborated on what she worries will be the outcome of the hearing.

“The, not consensus but I think, widely held view of today’s proceedings at the United States Supreme Court is that the conservatives on the court will likely succeed in using this case to further and fatally delay criminal court proceedings against Donald Trump before the election in November, rather than reject his claims of immunity from prosecution like all the federal judges who have considered this matter before them have done,” she said.

“They instead will carve out some newly specified class of actions that are immune from prosecution if you’re a president. And they will invent a test for deciding what counts as that kind of action by a president, and then they will send Trump’s indictment, Trump’s federal January 6 case back through a whole new cycle in the lower federal courts to run his attempted overthrow of the government,” Maddow continued.

“There’s a court’s newly invented legal test that they are going to make for him in this case, which yes, will take forever, because in the meantime, of course, he will get a chance to get back into the White House in order to shut the whole thing down. And in the meantime, the American people will be asked to go and vote on whether he should take that seat again in the White House, without knowing what federal prosecutors have found and believe is criminal about his conduct when he tried to overthrow the government to stay in office the last time.”

Watch the whole segment above now.

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