ABC, NBC LOSE THEIR MINDS Over Supreme Court Taking Trump Immunity Case

February 29th, 2024 4:02 PM

Late Wednesday afternoon, the Supreme Court announced they’d hear the case on presidential immunity as it relates to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s January 6 criminal case against former President Trump. Naturally, this decision left the liberal media — including ABC and NBC on Wednesday night and Thursday morning — enraged this could further delay what they hope leads to Trump’s imprisonment.

Instead of letting the D.C. Court of Appeals’s decision against Trump stand, the Court decided it would weigh in on whether a president is immune from prosecution, which is, in fact, a big deal. In other words, the kind of topic the high court exists to answer.



One could say ABC News was losing its noodle over what it deemed as the Supreme Court doing Donald Trump’s bidding by “serving” his desires “of pushing his trials past the presidential election” and thus handing him a “victory” and Smith “a major setback”.

Thursday’s Good Morning America was apoplectic. Co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos huffed “the Supreme Court agreeing to hear Donald Trump’s claim that he is immune on federal charges” placed the trial for said charges “on hold, serving the former President’s strategy of pushing his trials past the presidential election.”

Chief Washington correspondent and three-time anti-Trump author Jonathan Karl was despondent that “the trial in that case could be pushed back to late summer or fall, or possibly until after the presidential election” and thus, regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling “a Trump victory”.

“With this delay, even if the trial was able to happen before the election, it would likely take place against the back drop of the political conventions later in the summer, or in the heat of the fall campaign, possibly, George, after voters in several states have already started casting their ballots,” he added.

A seething Stephanopoulos commiserated with chief legal analyst Dan Abrams, suggesting, in his view, it’s pointless because there’s no way Trump could prevail in any court. Abrams was also forlorn at “a really big win” the Court gave Trump (click “expand”):

STEPHANOPOULOS: Ultimately, this question of pres — immunity is not a close call. They’re going to rule against Donald Trump there. So, why take it?

ABRAMS: Because they want to put their stamp on it. Because the U.S. Supreme Court wants to weigh in on an incredibly important question. But, look, this really is all about the clock. I mean, this always has been about the clock. I think Donald Trump and his legal team know they’re not going to win the argument that he is completely immune, that the President has complete and total immunity. The question is, when do they decide that? And now, this is a really big win for Donald Trump if you look at his effort, as an effort to delay.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that gets to my second question, why take 16 days to decide this? Why schedule arguments two months from now?

ABRAMS: The 16 days, I think, shows there was some dissent within the justices about what to do here. And, yeah, they could have expedited it even more. Look, the easiest way to deal with moving it forward would have been to say, as they do in most cases, we’re not gonna hear it, right? The appellate court has ruled on this. We’re gonna simply say this is not a case that the Supreme Court is going to weigh in on. And the appellate court decision would have stood against Donald Trump. The Court not saying that. And then also not move it quite as quickly as they could have. And so, I now think it’s very unlikely that you’re going to see this trial move before the election.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One final question, thought. Could the judge, assume he’s not — he’s not immune, schedule the trial for November 8? And, even if Donald Trump wins, he still has to face trial?

ABRAMS: That’s, like, one of the questions a professor asks in class, right? It’s like, should —


ABRAMS: — it’s like, theoretically — yeah, theoretically, it’s possible. Practically, there’s absolutely no way the judge is going to schedule the trial for after the election. There’s just no way. By the way, I don’t think the judge — I don’t think the department of justice is going to allow the — the case to move forward even in the 60 days before the election. So, I don’t think any of that period becomes a realistic possibility, although theoretically it’s possible.

During a subsequent bottom-of-the-hour news brief and lead-in at the top of the second hour, Stephanopoulos made sure to return to this claim that the Court is “serving” Trump ahead of Karl relitigating his report from the first hour.

Rewind to Wednesday’s World News Tonight and anchor David Muir framed it not as something the high court was made to answer, but how this affects the election. 

Here was his opening tease: “This move from the Supreme Court to decide this will delay the federal case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith...[H]ow soon could the Supreme Court decide this? And if they don’t decide in Donald Trump’s favor, would there still be time for this federal trial before the presidential election?”

After correspondent Devin Dwyer also bemoaned this in political terms, Muir brought in ABC News contributor Kate Shaw, the wife of MSNBC leftist loon Chris Hayes.

While more covert than overt, Shaw put her thumb on the scale by demanding the Court “mov[e] much faster in a case like this” compared to waiting until late June to release it (as the Court does with blockbuster cases). That way, she argued, “a trial maybe late this summer” was still possible. In other words, she was aiming to not have her fellow progressives lose hope.

Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News was similarly not amused. Along with anchor Lester Holt emphasizing “[t]he decision likely delays the start of any trial”, chief legal correspondent Laura Jarrett (and daughter of Obama confidant Valerie Jarrett) was relayed the Court did as “Mr. Trump hoped” and revived chances the case could be dismissed if he wins in November.

Jarrett returned to Thursday’s Today with even more saltiness as though Team Obama wrote it for her, whining the Court helped gave “Trump the gift of time” by ensuring “the calendar works to his advantage” and lessening the “sky high” “stakes” (click “expand”):

JARRETT: The immunity issue one that could make or break the prosecutor’s case against Donald Trump. The Supreme Court’s involvement on this could hand him a win or loss, but either way, the calendar works to his advantage, making the chances he will face trial before election day this year on charges of trying to overturn the last election, more remote by the day. This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court handing Donald Trump the gift of time. The justices agreeing to decide whether the Republican frontrunner should be immune from federal charges because his attempts to reverse the 2020 election happened while he was still in office.

TRUMP [on 01/06/21]:  We will never give up. We will never concede.

JARRETT: In a one page order, the high court saying it will hear arguments the case the week of April 22. But, with no firm for its final ruling, the prospect of a federal criminal trial being completed before the November election, becoming increasingly unrealistic. And, if the Supreme court rules in Mr. Trump’s favor, the charges against him in Washington, D.C., wiped out completely.

TRUMP [on 02/08/24]: You cannot allow a president to be out there without immunity. They don’t have immunity, you don’t have a presidency.

JARRETT: The stakes, sky high for the former President, who has cast the prosecution itself as election interference and Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team, which has accused Mr. Trump of defrauding the government he once led.

SMITH [on 08/01/22]: My office will seek a speedy trial, so that our evidence can be tested in court.

JARRETT: But the case has been beset by appeals on the immunity question with lower courts finding Mr. Trump should not be shielded from prosecution. The Trump campaign seizing on the Supreme Court taking up the case as another fundraising opportunity with the former President pressing his case on social media.


JARRETT: Even if [the Court] said [Trump] loses it, he’s not immune, he — the still wouldn’t just spring back to life, right? He wouldn’t immediately go to trial the next day because he gets benefit of all of this time when the case essentially just been frozen on ice...So, he would get roughly three months tacked on to that time.

In contrast to all this, CBS had longtime Supreme Court correspondent Jan Crawford on both Wednesday’s CBS Evening News and Thursday’s CBS Mornings, who provided a sober, reality-based view that the Court “had to take this case” given its magnitude. In other words, her message was this: relax.

To see the relevant transcripts from February 28, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), and here (for NBC). To see the relevant transcripts from February 29, click here (for ABC) and here (for NBC).