Ty Cobb, who served as White House attorney under former President Trump, predicted Monday that the case involving Trump’s claim of presidential immunity could be over by the end of this week.
In an interview on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront,” Cobb said he did not expect the Supreme Court to take up Trump’s eventual appeal. The former president asked the high court Monday to keep his federal election subversion criminal trial on hold while he appeals a lower court ruling that says he is not immune from charges.
“This petition for a stay is pretty weak,” Cobb said, referring to Trump’s Monday court filing.
“It’s repetitive of their briefs below,” he continued. “The arguments that they presented were not only soundly rejected, but eviscerated both in oral argument and in the opinion. I don’t think the Supreme Court is going to find those arguments compelling in any way.”
An appeals court already ruled against Trump’s claim of presidential immunity, writing in a 57-page decision, “For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant.”
The three-judge panel for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals continued in its unanimous opinion: “We cannot accept that the office of the Presidency places its former occupants above the law for all time thereafter. Careful evaluation of these concerns leads us to conclude that there is no functional justification for immunizing former Presidents from federal prosecution in general or for immunizing former President Trump from the specific charges in the Indictment.”
In his court filing Monday, Trump said he would soon file his appeal of the D.C. Circuit’s ruling. In the meantime, however, he asked the high court to issue a stay of the decision, which effectively would delay the trial until appeals were resolved.
Only four justices must vote to take up Trump’s eventual appeal. But the former president’s emergency request to pause his trial proceedings will require five votes.
Whether or not the justices decide to take the case will serve as a major indication of when it may reach trial. Trump has frequently used delay tactics to try to push off his trial beyond the presidential election.
Cobb said there were many possible paths for the Supreme Court to take. He predicted the high court would either decline to take up the case altogether or issue a 24- or 48-hour delay, to allow for Trump to appeal, and then decline to take it up.
“I personally don’t see them taking this case. Although I do think it’s a possibility they could consider the stay petition as a petition for cert and stay the case for 24 to 48 hours and then deny cert,” he said. “I think this case could be over this week.”
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