Alert: Trump’s ‘license to kill or coup’ hits SCOTUS - See Ari Melber’s critical breakdown

MSNBC
25 Apr 202422:50

Summary

TLDRThe transcript captures a critical discussion on the Supreme Court's examination of a case involving a former president's immunity from prosecution. The dialogue delves into the unprecedented nature of the case, with references to historical precedents and the potential implications for future presidencies. The speaker, Ari Melber, highlights the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the court's responsibility to consider not just the immediate case but also the broader constitutional principles at stake. The summary underscores the tension between the legal arguments presented, the court's role in upholding democratic norms, and the chilling hypotheticals that were raised during the hearing, including discussions on presidential authority to order military coups or assassinations. The narrative also touches on the public's reaction to such claims, the importance of a peaceful transfer of power, and the potential for the court's decision to set a new legal standard regarding presidential immunity.

Takeaways

  • 📚 The Supreme Court is hearing arguments regarding the prosecution of a former president, which is a historic and unprecedented event.
  • 🚫 Trump's lawyers have argued for presidential immunity, claiming he should be immune from indictment due to his position during the alleged efforts, a claim that was unanimously rejected by the D.C. Court of Appeals.
  • 🗣️ During the hearing, there were discussions about extreme scenarios, including a president ordering a military coup or the assassination of an opponent, and the implications for legal immunity.
  • 🤔 The Court considered the broader implications of its decisions, not just for Trump but also for future presidents, questioning the extent of presidential powers and immunity.
  • 🚨 Concerns were raised about the potential for a president to use their office for personal gain without facing criminal liability, including for serious crimes like bribery, treason, sedition, and murder.
  • 🈚️ The Constitution does not provide immunity for ex-presidents, and historically, no one has claimed such immunity until now.
  • 📉 There is an ongoing issue with prosecutions of Trump's supporters and aides, with more indictments coming as recently as the night before the hearing.
  • 📺 The insurrection was a public crime spree, televised and streamed live by some participants, leading to many being imprisoned or awaiting trial.
  • 👥 Some justices appeared almost oblivious to the reality and threat of the insurrection and the related election plots.
  • 🤨 The Supreme Court's conservative majority seems poised to narrow the scope of the criminal case against Trump, potentially delaying the trial past the next election.
  • ⚖️ The Court's focus on hypothetical future cases and the lack of emphasis on the specific insurrection at the center of the case has raised concerns about the Court's ability to address the current legal and constitutional challenges.

Q & A

  • What is the main topic of discussion in the provided transcript?

    -The main topic of discussion is the historic and unprecedented arguments at the Supreme Court regarding the potential for a sitting president to be indicted and the implications of presidential immunity.

  • Who is the speaker in the transcript?

    -The speaker is Ari Melber, the host of the show 'The Beat' on MSNBC.

  • What is the significance of the Supreme Court hearing mentioned in the transcript?

    -The significance is that it addresses the question of whether a president can be tried for criminal acts, and it is the first time such a case has been brought before the Supreme Court.

  • What claim did Trump's lawyers make regarding presidential immunity?

    -Trump's lawyers claimed that he should be immune from prosecution due to his position as president during the alleged efforts to indict him, a claim that was unanimously rejected by the D.C. Court of Appeals.

  • What controversial statement was made by a Trump lawyer during a hearing?

    -A Trump lawyer claimed that as president, Trump could have a license to kill American opponents, a statement that was widely rebuked.

  • What is the context for the discussion about a president ordering a military coup?

    -The context is a hypothetical scenario raised during the Supreme Court hearing to explore the limits of presidential power and whether such an act could be considered an 'official act' that would grant the president immunity.

  • What is the argument against the novel theory of presidential immunity proposed by Trump's lawyers?

    -The argument against it is that such immunity would immunize former presidents from criminal liability for serious crimes like bribery, treason, sedition, and murder, and that there is no constitutional foundation for such immunity.

  • What does the transcript suggest about the current state of the Supreme Court?

    -The transcript suggests that the Supreme Court is deeply divided on the issue of presidential immunity, with some justices appearing to be oblivious to the current political reality and the threat posed by the insurrection.

  • What is the significance of the mention of President Nixon in the transcript?

    -The mention of President Nixon is significant because it draws a comparison to the situation with President Trump. Nixon was not immune from prosecution and had to take a pardon to avoid indictment, which is used as a point of historical context in the debate.

  • What is the role of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the context of this transcript?

    -The DOJ is mentioned in relation to its successful sedition convictions and the ongoing prosecutions of Trump's supporters and aides. The DOJ is also central to the case against Trump, which is the first-ever federal prosecution of a president.

  • What is the main concern expressed by the speaker about the Supreme Court's handling of the case?

    -The main concern is that the Supreme Court is not focusing enough on the specific facts of the case related to the insurrection and instead is engaging in hypothetical discussions that may not be directly relevant to the current situation.

Outlines

00:00

😀 Introduction to the Supreme Court's Unprecedented Hearing

The video segment begins with the host, Ari Melber, introducing the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the Supreme Court's hearing on the trial of a sitting president, which is a historic and unprecedented event. Melber discusses the arguments presented by Trump's lawyers, who claimed that Trump should be immune from indictment due to his presidential status during the alleged efforts, a claim that was unanimously rejected by the D.C. Court of Appeals. The segment also touches on the infamous hearing where a Trump lawyer suggested the president could kill opponents without consequence. The discussion emphasizes the importance of the court's decisions, not just for Trump, but for future presidents as well.

05:02

😳 Extreme Authoritarian Arguments in the Supreme Court

This paragraph delves into the extreme positions taken by the current Republican nominee's lawyer, defending the concept of a president having a 'license to kill' and being granted total immunity for acts such as murder and treason. The video script outlines the chilling nature of these arguments and the transparency with which they are presented. It also highlights the potential implications of such arguments, suggesting that they could encourage criminal behavior by future presidents. The segment further discusses the lack of constitutional foundation for presidential immunity and contrasts the current situation with historical precedents, such as President Nixon's pardon.

10:03

🤔 Analyzing the Legality of Presidential Actions During War

The focus of this paragraph is on the legal implications of presidential actions, particularly in times of war. It references a hypothetical situation where President Roosevelt's decision to intern Japanese Americans during WWII is considered from a modern legal perspective. The discussion explores the idea that such actions, while potentially unlawful at the time, could be even more problematic if prosecuted under contemporary laws. The segment also addresses the broader question of whether any limits should exist on prosecuting a president for their official acts, even if those acts are later deemed to be war crimes or civil rights violations.

15:04

😠 The Court's Conservative Majority and the Future of Presidential Prosecution

This section of the script addresses the potential leanings of the Supreme Court's conservative majority towards Trump's arguments. It suggests that the court may be preparing to narrow the scope of the criminal case against Trump, making it difficult to conduct the trial before the next election. The paragraph also highlights the court's focus on hypothetical situations and the potential for future cases, rather than the specific circumstances of the current case. The discussion includes critical views on the court's approach, suggesting that it is avoiding直面 (directly addressing) the insurrection at the heart of the case.

20:05

😤 The Supreme Court's Avoidance of the Insurrection and the Rule of Law

The final paragraph emphasizes the court's apparent avoidance of the insurrection that serves as the backdrop for the case. It stresses that while the justices spent considerable time discussing hypothetical scenarios and the potential for future cases, they did not focus on the actual events that led to the first-ever federal prosecution of a president. The segment argues that the legal task at hand should be about prosecuting the insurrection rather than preventing potential prosecutorial overreach. It concludes with a critique of the court's logic and a call for acknowledgment of the facts surrounding the insurrection.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States and the final interpreter of the Constitution. In the video, it is discussing the unprecedented case of a president being put on trial, which relates to the theme of the video as it explores the legal and constitutional implications of prosecuting a president.

💡Indictment

An indictment is a formal charge or allegation against someone that they have committed a crime. The video discusses a president being indicted, which is a central theme as it delves into the legal debate over whether a sitting or former president can face criminal charges.

💡Immunity

Immunity refers to exemption from prosecution or liability. The video explores the concept of presidential immunity, particularly whether a president should be immune from prosecution while in office or after, which is a key legal argument in the case being discussed.

💡Insurrection

An insurrection is an act or instance of rebellion against authority. The video references the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which is directly related to the case before the Supreme Court and is a significant event that has led to the current legal discussions.

💡Precedent

Precedent refers to a principle or rule established in a previous legal case that is either binding on or persuasive for a court or other tribunal when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts. The video mentions the lack of precedent for indicting a president and the impact of setting a new precedent.

💡Sedition

Sedition is conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state. The video discusses seditious acts in relation to the insurrection, which is crucial as it ties the legal proceedings to the actions taken during the event at the Capitol.

💡Pardon

A pardon is an act of mercy by a ruler or higher authority by which the punishment for a crime is forgiven. The video touches on the historical use of pardons, particularly President Ford's pardon of President Nixon, to illustrate potential legal strategies and their implications.

💡Coup

A coup, short for coup d'état, is the overthrow of a government, typically through a violent or illegal seizure of power. The video raises the hypothetical question of a president ordering a coup and whether such actions would be considered official acts, which speaks to the broader debate about the extent of presidential power.

💡Conspiracy

A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a criminal act. The video mentions conspiracy in the context of potential criminal charges against a president, which is relevant to the legal arguments being made regarding the president's actions.

💡Rule of Law

The rule of law is the principle that law applies to everyone and that government decisions are made according to established legal principles. The video emphasizes the importance of the rule of law in the context of prosecuting a president, highlighting the need for a fair and legal process.

💡Peaceful Transfer of Power

A peaceful transfer of power is a fundamental democratic principle where an outgoing government willingly relinquishes control to an incoming government following an election. The video discusses the attempt to disrupt this process, which is central to understanding the severity of the actions being legally examined.

Highlights

The Supreme Court heard arguments about putting a president on trial, marking a historic and unprecedented event.

Trump's lawyers argued for presidential immunity, claiming he should be immune due to his position during the efforts in question.

The D.C. Court of Appeals unanimously rejected the claim of presidential immunity.

Discussions included extreme hypotheticals, such as a president ordering a military coup or the assassination of an opponent.

Concerns raised about the potential for a president to use their office for total personal gain without facing criminal liability.

The court considered decisions that would apply not just to President Trump but also to future presidents.

The Constitution does not grant immunity to ex-presidents, a fact that was emphasized during the hearing.

The insurrection was characterized as a public crime spree, televised and live-streamed by participants.

Many participants of the insurrection are now facing prison sentences or trials.

The court seemed almost oblivious to the reality and threat of the insurrection.

Justice Sotomayor questioned the logic of providing immunity for violent acts, such as murder, being considered official acts.

The court's discussion included the potential for future cases involving presidential immunity and the prosecution of official acts.

Concerns were raised about the possibility of presidents pardoning themselves, a notion that has not been tested.

The court's conservative majority appeared open to Trump's arguments, which were unanimously rejected in the past.

The Supreme Court's handling of the case was seen as a dark day for the legal system due to the avoidance of直面 the insurrection at the center of the case.

Long-time Republican Judge Luttig criticized the court for avoiding key points about the first-ever federal prosecution of a president.

The court's focus on hypothetical future cases rather than the specific insurrection was highlighted as a concern.

Transcripts

00:00

>> WE HAVE A LOT TO GET TO.

00:02

I WILL SEE YOU AT 8.

00:04

>> WELCOME TO THE BEAT.

00:05

I'M ARI MELBER.

00:08

THESE ARE EXTRAORDINARY TIMES.

00:10

WE'RE WATCHING HISTORY UNFOLD AT

00:12

THE SUPREME COURT WHICH HEARD

00:13

ARGUMENTS ABOUT PUTTING A

00:14

PRESIDENT ON TRIAL.

00:16

HISTORIC, UNPRECEDENTED, ALL THE

00:18

WORDS ARE TRUE ABOUT THIS ONE.

00:21

NO OTHER PRESIDENT HAS BEEN

00:24

INDICTED LIKE THIS.

00:26

TRUMP'S LAWYERS ARGUING HE

00:28

SHOULD BE IMMUNE, BASICALLY

00:30

TOTALLY IMMUNE BECAUSE HE WAS

00:32

PRESIDENT DURING THOSE EFFORTS.

00:34

THAT IS A NEW RELATIVELY MADE UP

00:37

CLAIM WHICH THEY LOST

00:39

UNANIMOUSLY BEFORE THE RESPECTED

00:40

D.C. COURT OF APPEALS.

00:41

KEEP THAT IN MIND.

00:43

THAT IS THE RECENT PRECEDENT AND

00:45

CONTEXT FOR TODAY, AND YOU MAY

00:46

REMEMBER THAT WAS THE NOW

00:48

INFAMOUS HEARING WHERE THE TRUMP

00:50

LAWYER OPENLY CLAIMED THAT AS

00:52

PRESIDENT TRUMP COULD HAVE A

00:54

LICENSE TO KILL AMERICAN

00:55

OPPONENTS

00:55

OPPONENTS.

00:56

THAT WAS THE KIND OF CHILLING

00:58

TALK THAT MANY, MANY PEOPLE

01:00

ACROSS THE SPECTRUM REBUKED

01:01

THEN.

01:02

THAT KIND OF TALK WAS BACK TODAY

01:04

WITH GRAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT

01:07

MURDER AND COUPS AND TRUMP'S

01:09

LAWYER SAYING IT'S OKAY OR IT

01:11

ALL DEPENDS.

01:13

>> LET'S SAY THIS PRESIDENT, WHO

01:16

ORDERED THE MILITARY TO STAGE A

01:18

COUP.

01:19

>> ORDERS THE MILITARY OR ORDERS

01:21

SOMEONE TO ASSASSINATE HIM, IS

01:23

THAT WITHIN HIS OFFICIAL ACTS.

01:25

>> I THINK IT WOULD DEPEND ON

01:28

THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

01:29

>> IT WOULD DEPEND ON THE

01:31

HYPOTHETICAL.

01:32

>> IT RAISES QUESTIONS.

01:34

>> ONE MIGHT ARGUE THAT IT ISN'T

01:37

PLAUSIBLY LEGAL TO ORDER SEAL

01:39

TEAM SIX YET THE PRESIDENT USES

01:42

IT IN AN ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS

01:42

MANNER.

01:43

>> THE COURT HAS TO MAKE

01:45

DECISIONS NOT JUST APPLYING TO

01:47

PRESIDENT TRUMP BUT ALSO

01:48

DECISIONS THAT WILL APPLY TO

01:50

FUTURE PRESIDENTS.

01:51

>> A PRESIDENT IS ENTITLED FOR

01:54

TOTAL PERSONAL GAIN TO USE THE

01:57

TRAPPINGS OF HIS OFFICE WITHOUT

02:00

FACING CRIMINAL LIABILITY?

02:02

>> HIS NOVEL THEORY WOULD

02:04

IMMUNIZE FORMER PRESIDENTS FOR

02:06

CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR BRIBERY,

02:07

TREASON, SEDITION, MURDER.

02:09

>> HERE'S WHAT THAT MEANS IN

02:10

PLAIN ENGLISH.

02:11

I, DONALD TRUMP, CAN DO ANYTHING

02:12

I WANT.

02:14

>> THERE'S NOTHING TO SUGGEST

02:16

THAT PRESIDENTS NEED IMMUNITY

02:18

BECAUSE THEY'VE MANAGED TO DO

02:20

JUST FINE FOR OVER 200 YEARS.

02:23

>> THOSE ARE JUST SOME OF THE

02:25

HIGH POINTS TODAY.

02:26

CONSTITUTION DOES NOT SAY

02:28

EX-PRESIDENTS HAVE IMMUNITY.

02:29

NEVER HAS.

02:30

BEFORE TRUMP NO ONE EVEN CLAIMED

02:32

THAT.

02:33

AFTER TRUMP THE COURTS NOW ARE

02:35

FULL OF PROSECUTIONS OF HIS

02:37

SUPPORTERS AND HIS AIDES.

02:38

MORE INDICTMENTS CAME JUST LAST

02:39

NIGHT.

02:40

AND THIS IS THE OBVIOUS FACT

02:41

HERE.

02:43

THE INSURRECTION WAS A PUBLIC

02:45

CRIME SPREE.

02:46

IT WAS TELEVISED.

02:47

IT WAS LIVE STREAMED BY SOME OF

02:50

ITS PARTICIPANTS AND NOW MANY OF

02:52

THEM ARE SITTING IN PRISON OR

02:54

WAITING IN TRIAL.

02:55

THE RELATED ELECTION PLOTS ARE

02:57

JUST THE SAME.

02:59

MANY JUSTICES SEEMED ALMOST

03:00

OBLIVIOUS TO THAT CURRENT

03:02

REALITY AND THREAT.

03:03

TODAY WAS A HISTORIC DAY FOR THE

03:05

SUPREME COURT IN THE SENSE THAT

03:07

WE WILL BE READING ABOUT THIS IN

03:08

HISTORY BOOKS.

03:09

OFF THE TOP TONIGHT I'M GOING TO

03:11

SHOW YOU WHY AND GIVE YOU THE

03:12

BREAKDOWN.

03:13

TODAY WAS ALSO A DEPRESSING DAY

03:15

AT THIS SUPREME COURT AS ITS

03:18

TRUMP APPOINTEES AND SOME OTHER

03:20

MEMBERS SEEMED OBLIVIOUS TO THIS

03:22

REALITY OF THIS INSURRECTION

03:24

ERA.

03:25

OBLIVIOUS TO THE DOJ'S

03:29

VICTORIOUS SEDITION CONVICTIONS

03:30

WHICH NOT EVERYONE MAY FOLLOW

03:33

BUT JUDGES AND SUPREME COURT

03:34

JUSTICES ARE SUPPOSED TO TRACK

03:35

THAT.

03:36

THOSE PEOPLE WHO STORMED THE

03:37

CAPITOL GOT THEIR DAY IN COURT

03:42

AND MANY OF THEM WERE CONVICTED

03:46

BY JURIES OF THEIR PEER.

03:51

OTHER JUSTICES DID SAY HOW SHALL

03:55

THEY SUPPOSED TO PUNISH A COUP.

03:58

>> LET'S SAY THIS PRESIDENT WHO

04:00

ORDERED THE MILITARY TO STAGE A

04:01

COUP.

04:02

HE'S NO LONGER PRESIDENT, HE

04:04

WASN'T IMPEACHED, HE COULDN'T BE

04:06

IMPEACHED, BUT HE ORDERED THE

04:08

MILITARY TO STAGE A COUP AND

04:10

YOU'RE SAYING THAT'S AN OFFICIAL

04:11

ACT.

04:12

>> I THINK THAT WOULD DEPEND --

04:15

>> THAT'S IMMUNE?

04:16

>> IT WOULD DEPEND.

04:18

>> OFFICIAL ACT IS A STAND IN

04:20

FOR THEM SAYING IT'S OKAY.

04:22

IT DEPENDS.

04:23

BRING DEFINITION IT'S NOT OKAY.

04:26

A MILITARY COUP WOULD BE AGAINST

04:30

THE OFFICIAL GOVERNANCE OF A

04:31

NATION.

04:33

IF YOU CAN DO COUP, CAN YOU DO

04:36

MURDER?

04:38

TODAY OBAMA APPOINTEE JUSTICE

04:42

SOTOMAYOR PUSHED ON THAT

04:46

VIOLENT, GRIM AUTHORITARIAN

04:47

LOGIC.

04:48

>> IF THE PRESIDENT DECIDES THAT

04:54

HIS RIVAL IS A CORRUPT PERSON

04:58

AND HE ORDERS THE MILITARY OR

05:01

ORDERS SOMEONE TO ASSASSINATE

05:03

HIM, IS THAT WITHIN HIS OFFICIAL

05:05

ACTS FOR WHICH HE CAN GET

05:07

IMMUNITY?

05:08

>> IT WOULD DEPEND ON THE

05:11

HYPOTHETICAL.

05:12

WE COULD WELL SEE THAT COULD BE

05:14

AN OFFICIAL --

05:15

>> THERE YOU HAVE IT OUT IN THE

05:16

OPEN.

05:18

THE CURRENT REPUBLICAN PARTY'S

05:23

NOMINEE LAWYER DEFENDS MURDER

05:25

AND THEY DEFEND IT WHEN THEY SAY

05:27

IT'S AN OFFICIAL ACT.

05:29

SAYS THAT SHOULD BE SOMETHING

05:32

THAT THE PRESIDENT CAN DO.

05:34

LICENSE TO KILL.

05:36

TOTAL IMMUNITY.

05:37

SO HERE WE ARE.

05:40

DON'T SAY THEY DIDN'T WARN YOU.

05:44

WE ARE HEARING SOME OF THE MOST

05:47

EXTREME AUTHORITARIAN ARGUMENTS

05:48

EVER PRESENTED TO THE SUPREME

05:51

COURT IN THE MODERN ERA.

05:53

YOU COULD SCORE ONE FOR

05:55

TRANSPARENCY SAYING THEY'RE

05:57

BEING PRETTY CLEAR AND

05:59

TRANSPARENT ABOUT WHAT THEY'RE

06:00

DEFENDING IN THE PAST AND WHAT

06:02

THEY WOULD DO IN THE FUTURE.

06:04

INSIDE THE COURTROOM JACK SMITH

06:06

WATCHED A VETERAN LIT GATOR HE

06:08

PICKED AND SENT IN FOR THIS

06:11

PIVOTAL CASE, PROBABLY THE MOST

06:14

PIVOTAL CASE SINCE U.S./PHOENIX.

06:16

HE TOOK A 2X4 TO THIS TRUMP

06:19

DEFENSIVE' BEEN TELLING YOU

06:21

ABOUT SAYING THIS MADE UP

06:23

IMMUNITY IF YOU DID IT WOULD

06:26

PROTECT AND THEREFORE ENCOURAGE

06:29

MURDER, TREASON, SEDITION AND,

06:31

AGAIN, SEDITION IS, OF COURSE,

06:34

WHAT THOSE JAN 6 ATTACKERS WERE

06:36

CONVICTED OF.

06:37

>> HIS NOVEL THEORY WOULD

06:40

IMMUNIZE FORMER PRESIDENTS FOR

06:42

CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR BRIBERY,

06:45

TREASON, SEDITION, MURDER AND

06:47

HERE, CONSPIRING TO USE FRAUD TO

06:50

OVERTURN THE RESULTS OF AN

06:52

ELECTION AND PERPETUATE HIMSELF

06:53

IN POWER.

06:55

SUCH PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY HAS

06:57

NO FOUNDATION IN THE

06:59

CONSTITUTION.

06:59

>> THAT'S TRUE.

07:02

THE JUSTICES KNOW IF THEY SAY

07:05

THERE'S AN IMMUNITY HERE IT WILL

07:07

BE A NEW THING.

07:09

NOT AN ORIGINALIST THING FROM

07:11

THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING OF

07:16

THE CONSTITUTION.

07:18

I MENTIONED THOSE CONSERVATIVE

07:20

VIEWS EXCEPT FOR APPARENTLY WHEN

07:22

THEY DON'T.

07:23

IT WAS NO IMMUNITY UNDER THE LAW

07:25

FOR NIXON.

07:26

HE TOOK A PARDON TO AVOID

07:28

INDICTMENT, A BASIC SORT OF HIGH

07:30

SCHOOL HISTORY CLASS POINT

07:31

AGAINST TRUMP THAT MANY PEOPLE

07:33

HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT.

07:35

JUSTICE JACKSON RAISED IT VERY

07:37

BLUNTLY AND YOU'LL BE ABLE TO

07:40

LISTEN HERE WHILE OTHER JUSTICES

07:42

APPEARED TO ROOT FOR TRUMP AND

07:45

MUSED ABOUT THEIR OPINION THAT

07:46

PARDONING NIXON MAY HAVE TURNED

07:48

OUT TO BE A GOOD THING.

07:49

REMEMBER, YOUR PERSONAL OPINION

07:51

ABOUT A THING THAT A PRESIDENT

07:53

COULD DO, FORD CHOSE TO PARDON

07:55

NIXON, HE COULD HAVE NOT CHOSEN

07:57

TO PARDON NIXON, THAT OPINION IS

07:59

NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HOW THE COURT

08:02

RESOLVES THE NARROW LEGAL

08:06

QUESTION OF WHETHER THE DOJ PUTS

08:08

TRUMP ON LEGAL TRIAL OR NOT.

08:10

>> WHAT WAS UP WITH THE PARDON

08:11

FOR PRESIDENT NIXON?

08:12

>> I THINK IT --

08:14

>> IF EVERYBODY THOUGHT

08:15

PRESIDENTS COULDN'T BE

08:16

PROSECUTED, WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT?

08:18

>> GOSH, NIXON VERSUS

08:19

FITZGERALD, THAT'S SOMETHING

08:21

COURTS SHOULDN'T GET ENGAGED IN

08:24

BECAUSE PRESIDENTS HAVE ALL

08:25

MANNER OF MOTIVES.

08:27

>> PRESIDENT FORD'S PARDON VERY

08:31

CONTROVERSIAL IN THE MOMENT.

08:34

THE BETTER DECISIONS IN

08:35

PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY.

08:36

>> WON'T THE PREDICTABLE RESULT

08:38

BE THAT PRESIDENTS IN THE LAST

08:40

COUPLE OF DAYS OF OFFICE ARE

08:41

GOING TO PARDON THEMSELVES?

08:43

>> THE LAST QUESTION IS PRETTY

08:47

CYNICAL.

08:48

ALITO SAYING IF YOU ALLOWED

08:50

PRESIDENTS TO PARDON THEMSELVES,

08:51

WOULDN'T THEY DO IT?

08:53

PARDONS ARE FOR CRIMINALS.

08:55

NO PRESIDENT HAS TRIED TO PARDON

08:57

HIMSELF SO IT IS ODD FOR A

08:59

SITTING JUSTICE TO ASK IF THAT

09:00

WOULD BE THE NORM.

09:02

ODD IS A DIPLOMATIC WORD.

09:05

IT ALSO SOUNDS LIKE YOGA LEVEL

09:07

BACKBENDING TO FIND SOME WAY TO

09:11

GET TRUMP OFF THE HOOK AGAIN.

09:15

NOW, THE KOURTCOURT'S REPUBLICAN

09:17

MAJORITY WAS WARMER TO TRUMP'S

09:20

ARGUMENTS WHICH UNANIMOUSLY

09:21

REJECTED THEM.

09:23

CRITICS SAY THAT SHOWS THE

09:25

PARTISANSHIP IN THE MAGA COURT

09:27

OVERSEEN BY JUSTICE ROB WERTS

09:31

THAT IS UNABLE TO CURB THIS RED

09:33

PARTISANSHIP.

09:34

THAT DOESN'T MEAN THERE ARE NO

09:35

GOOD ARGUMENTS FOR THE LEGAL

09:37

CLAIM OF SOME KIND OF IMMUNITY,

09:42

LIMITED PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY,

09:44

AND I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND, IT

09:48

WAS 2 1/2 HOURS, ONE OF THE

09:50

STRONGEST ARGUMENTS FOR THAT

09:52

SIDE CAME FROM A QUESTION ALSO

09:54

BY JUSTICE A LET TOEMPT HE ASKED

09:57

IF A PRESIDENT'S BAD IDEAS AND

09:59

ACTS CAN BE PROSECUTED, THAT'S

10:01

WHAT JACK SMITH IS SAYING, IT

10:03

SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE PART OF THE

10:08

CASE, THEN WHAT ABOUT WAR TIME

10:13

ACTS, PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT

10:14

INTURNING JAPANESE.

10:16

THEY WERE FIGHTING THE NAZIS,

10:18

FIGHTING THE JAPANESE,

10:20

EVERYTHING WAS ON THE LINE BUT

10:24

LATER IT WAS FOUND TO BE

10:26

UNLAWFUL BY THE SUPREME COURT

10:27

ITSELF.

10:28

AS THE WAR TEMPERS COOLED IT'S

10:31

WIDELY VIEWED AS A RACIST AND

10:33

GRAVE INJUSTICE.

10:35

SO ALITO ASKS GIVEN THAT

10:38

HISTORY, WOULDN'T THE DOOR BE

10:41

OPEN TO PROSECUTING FDR OR

10:43

VIRTUALLY ANY PRESIDENT FOR SUCH

10:45

OFFICIAL ACTS?

10:47

>> PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOS

10:50

DEVELOPMENTS DECISION TO INTERN

10:51

JAPANESE AMERICANS DURING WORLD

10:52

WAR II?

10:53

COULDN'T THAT HAVE BEEN CHARGED

10:56

UNDER 18 USC 241 CONSPIRACY

10:57

AGAINST CIVIL RIGHTS?

10:59

>> TODAY, YES.

11:00

PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT MADE THAT

11:01

DECISION WITH THE ADVICE OF HIS

11:03

ATTORNEY GENERAL, THAT'S A

11:03

LAYER --

11:05

>> IS THAT REALLY TRUE?

11:07

I THOUGHT ATTORNEY GENERAL

11:09

BEDELL THOUGHT THAT THERE WAS

11:11

REALLY NO THREAT OF SABOTAGE AS

11:13

DID J. EDGAR HOOVER.

11:15

>> LAWYERS LOVE TO NERD OUT.

11:16

OF COURSE, THE POINT'S NOT WHAT

11:18

THE AG SAID AT THE TIME OR WHAT

11:21

HOOVER SAID, THE POINT IS NOT

11:22

WHETHER HE -- IT WAS SIGNED OFF

11:25

BUT WHETHER THERE IS SOME OUTER

11:27

LIMIT, HOWEVER FAR, ON

11:28

PROSECUTING A PRESIDENT FOR

11:30

THOSE OFFICIAL ACTS WHICH MIGHT

11:32

HAVE BEEN TAKEN IN WAR TIME GOOD

11:35

FAITH IN ONE MOMENT AND LATER

11:37

LOOK LIKE A WAR CRIME OR A CIVIL

11:39

RIGHTS VIOLATION.

11:39

THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.

11:41

NOW THE JACK SMITH REBUTTAL IS

11:43

THIS AIN'T WORLD WAR II AND

11:45

DONALD TRUMP'S EFFORTS WERE NOT

11:47

ON BEHALF OF THE U.S., NOT EVEN

11:50

A GOOD FAITH BUT MISTAKEN EFFORT

11:51

AT NATIONAL SECURITY, THEY WERE

11:54

AGAINST THE U.S. AND ITS LAWFUL

11:55

ELECTION AND ITS PRESIDENT-ELECT

11:57

AND HIS INCOMING ADMINISTRATION

11:58

AT THE TIME.

11:59

BIG DIFFERENCE.

12:00

NOW ONE OF THE LOWEST MOMENTS

12:02

TODAY ALSO CAME FROM JUSTICE

12:04

ALITO WHO ASKED A QUESTION

12:06

SUGGESTING THAT MAYBE AMERICA

12:08

SHOULD JUST APPEASE COUP

12:09

LEADERS.

12:10

DON'T UPSET THEM BECAUSE IF YOU

12:12

DO OR THEY'RE WORRIED ABOUT

12:14

BEING PROSECUTED FOR ACTUAL

12:16

CRIMES, THEY MIGHT TRY TO STAY

12:19

IN POWER, STAGE A COUP, END

12:21

DEMOCRACY.

12:22

BONKERS, BUT I'M GOING TO PLAY

12:25

FOR YOU THE EXTREME PREMISE OF

12:27

THIS QUESTION WHERE JUSTICE

12:28

ALITO ASKED IF A PRESIDENT

12:30

WORRIED ABOUT PROSECUTION MIGHT

12:32

BE MORE LIKELY TO CLING TO POWER

12:34

ILLEGALLY.

12:35

HE SAID A STABLE DEMOCRATIC

12:37

SOCIETY REQUIRES THAT A

12:39

CANDIDATE WHO LOSES AN ELECTION,

12:41

EVEN A CLOSE ONE, EVEN A HOTLY

12:43

CONTESTED ONE, LEAVE OFFICE

12:44

PEACEFULLY IF THAT CANDIDATE IS

12:46

THE INCUMBENT.

12:47

LET'S TAKE A LISTEN.

12:50

>> IF AN INCUMBENT WHO LOSES A

12:54

VERY CLOSE HOTLY CONTESTED

12:57

ELECTION, KNOWS THAT A REAL

13:00

POSSIBILITY AFTER LEAVING OFFICE

13:01

IS NOT THAT THE PRESIDENT IS

13:03

GOING TO BE ABLE TO GO OFF INTO

13:06

A PEACEFUL RETIREMENT, BUT THAT

13:07

THE PRESIDENT MAY BE CRIMINALLY

13:11

PROSECUTED BY A BITTER POLITICAL

13:14

OPPONENT, WILL THAT NOT LEAD US

13:17

INTO A CYCLE THAT DESTABILIZES

13:19

THE FUNCTIONING OF OUR COUNTRY

13:22

AS A DEMOCRACY?

13:24

>> NO, IT WILL NOT.

13:27

JUSTICE ALITO'S VERY INTELLIGENT

13:29

SO BASED ON MY OBSERVATION IT'S

13:31

MORE LIKELY THAT HE IS TRYING TO

13:33

FLOAT THIS WILD IDEA RATHER THAN

13:35

REALLY EMBRACING IT, BECAUSE TO

13:36

EMBRACE THE PREMISE OF THAT

13:38

QUESTION, THEY ASK ALL KINDS OF

13:39

QUESTIONS, BUT THE PREMISE OF

13:41

THAT QUESTION IS, GOSH, WE

13:43

BETTER BE REALLY AFRAID OF

13:45

PEOPLE WHO MIGHT CLING TO POWER