CNN Legal Analyst: Jack Smith Desperate for Trump Conviction Before Election

December 17th, 2023 10:09 PM

If you heard a commentator state that the reason why Special Counsel Jack Smith appears to be so desperate for his J6 trial of Donald Trump to proceed as speedily as possible on March 4, 2024 is because he want to obtain a conviction of Trump before the election for purely political reasons, it would be safe to assume that this analysis was given on NewsMax or perhaps OANN.

However, what is shocking is the commentator in this case was CNN's legal analyst, Elie Honig, on Saturday's Smerconish. CNN has treated him as Eliot Ness who buys lunch at Subway like an everyday hero.

Here is what Honig said to Michael Smerconish that casts strong aspersions upon the integrity of Jack Smith who has been treated by liberals, at least until recently, as some sort of no-nonsense nonpartisan:

MICHAEL SMERCONISH: Do you agree with me that Smith and Judge Chutkan are acting based on the election schedule?

ELIE HONIG: I do agree with you, Michael. And I think any fair-minded observer has to agree with that as well. Just look at Jack Smith's conduct in this case, the motivating principle behind every procedural request he's made has been speed, has been getting this trial in before the election. Let's take a couple examples. The trial date, the average federal conspiracy and fraud trial takes about a year and a half to two years between indictment and trial.

In this case, we have dozens, hundreds of January 6 rioters caught on video straightforward cases they two were given about a year and a half to two years between indictment and trial. Jack Smith originally requested a trial date for Donald Trump a far more complex case five months out, he wanted a January trial it was set for two months later. So Donald Trump was being given far less time to prepare than other defendants. And the actions this week, Jack Smith won an argument on immunity in the district court and then went right to the Supreme Court. I think the right move, I think the smart move.

The only reason you ask the Supreme Court to do that on an expedited basis is if you're racing against the clock and Jack Smith clearly is doing that here.

Honig suggested Smith's "position really as a practical matter is I want Donald Trump convicted before the election."

SMERCONISH: OK. I referred to the election as the Voldemort of the petition that he filed. Why not say that? Why not simply say there's an election on the horizon, and I'm afraid this guy's going to get away.

HONIG: You will never hear either Jack Smith or Judge Chutkan utter the E word, election. They will not specifically say it. Instead they use this sort of euphemistic language about the need for resolution, that kind of thing. Here's why I think Jack Smith is not willing to do it. Two reasons, first of all, DOJ rules unwritten and written both say you are not supposed to do anything that could impact an election. In fact, you're supposed to affirmatively try not to take steps that might impact an election. And the second thing and I think Jack Smith is right about this is if he is to say, OK, judge, we really need to try this case before the election. Donald Trump is going to seize on that aggressively.

He's going to say, see, folks, when I tell you this is political, Jack Smith is now admitted that he wants me tried before the election and that's political. So I think he's very wary of that.

SMERCONISH: OK. So then evaluate the -- we agree, we agree that he is acting, Judge Chutkan is acting with an eye toward the election calendar. Now I want to hear Elie Honig assess the propriety of him doing exactly what he's doing. Because on one hand, you could say, well, he's being political. On the other hand, I guess you would say, Elie, like you probably back in the day, he's an aggressive prosecutor. He's worked the case up, he wants to get before a jury.

HONIG: Right. I don't like the artifice here. I don't like the game playing the wordsmanship that we're seeing. I think Jack Smith ought to just come out and say it or not. Here's the arguments both ways.

First of all, if Jack Smith is trying to get this case tried before the election, and he clearly is, look that is political. I mean, the counter argument would be, well, Jack Smith just wants the American voters to have resolution before they go to the ballot box. And I understand that. As a voter I would like to know.

But here's the problem with that argument, Michael. Jack Smith doesn't just want to get this trial done and let the chips fall where they may and let the consequences be what they can be, he's the prosecutor. He believes this case. He wants this case, to result in conviction. And so, his position isn't just, well, I want this case tried before the election. His position really as a practical matter is I want Donald Trump convicted before the election.

I have no problem with the first part of that it's his job to want and try to convict Donald Trump now that he's indicted. But the second part of that before the election, that's where it crosses the line to the political in my view.

Smerconish himself at the conclusion of his show agreed with Honig that Jack Smith's desperation for speed reveals his political motivation: "Seven months from indictment to trial for Trump, two years for January 6th, other defendants, does that seem fair and equitable?"