Trump-hater George Conway predicts Trump will 'lose big' on immunity case, says SCOTUS appeal will 'backfire' with pre-election trial

By 
 June 16, 2024

By the end of June, the Supreme Court is expected to release its highly anticipated ruling on former President Donald Trump's claim of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for acts committed while he was still in office.

Attorney George Conway, a prominent anti-Trump critic, predicted on Friday that Trump would "lose big" when the decision on his immunity claim is finally revealed, The Hill reported.

He also shared his belief that Trump's efforts to forestall the multiple prosecutions he faces with the appeal to the Supreme Court will ultimately "backfire" on him, in that the criminal trials he hoped to delay until after the election in November might now commence right before the election in September or October.

Conway says Trump will "lose big" on immunity case

On Friday, Conway joined CNN host Jim Acosta to discuss the Trump immunity case and his thoughts on how and when the Supreme Court will rule and whether he trusts the justices, a majority of whom lean conservative, to decide against the former president's claimed protection from prosecution.

"I do trust the court on this," Conway, the husband of former senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, told the Trump-hating reporter Acosta. "I think … Donald Trump is going to lose. I think he’s going to lose big."

"I think there may be a few wrinkles in the opinion that may add a few steps to the process," he acknowledged, "but at the end of the day, I don’t think his argument is going to fly."

"In terms of delay, I wish they had not taken the case," Conway added. "I wish they had decided at once before, but the fact of the matter is, I don’t think there is some grand conspiracy or even an effort by some of the justices to put this off to help Trump."

SCOTUS analysis suggests at least a partial win for Trump

Former President Trump and his attorneys have claimed that ex-presidents enjoy absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for acts that occurred during their presidency, a claim that was appealed to the Supreme Court earlier this year after it was rejected by a D.C. district court and the D.C. appellate court.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in April, and analysis at the time suggested that a majority of the justices were likely to rule at least partially in favor of Trump, in that former presidents are immune from prosecution for "official" acts while in office but not "private" acts unconnected to their presidential duties.

Such a ruling would almost certainly compel the district court to then determine which, if any, of Trump's alleged criminal acts while in office were "private" and prosecutable instead of "official" and immune -- a likely time-consuming process that will require briefs and hearings and additional appeals from both sides that could further delay any eventual potential trial until well after the November election.

The appeal could "backfire," result in trial right before election

If Conway is correct, however, and the Supreme Court ultimately rules against Trump's claimed immunity, then the former president's gambit to delay the initial start date of the D.C. criminal trial for alleged 2020 election interference will have backfired on him, Newsweek reported.

"Fact of the matter is if the decision comes down the week of June 24, the last week of the term, that could mean that the case goes to trial at the end of September/beginning of October, which would be highly unfavorable," Conway told Acosta.

"The reason is when the case first went up to the court of appeals, it was 81 days before trial, and the court has said it's going to keep that 81-day schedule," he explained. "And if you add 81 days to the end of June, you basically get the middle of the fall campaign, so it could actually backfire on Trump."

Conway's prediction is dire, and if true, the timing of things going forward would be incredibly inconvenient and detrimental in terms of Trump's re-election campaign. That said, the prediction of a pre-election trial hinges entirely on the Supreme Court ruling completely against Trump's claim, as the aforementioned likelihood of a partial victory for Trump would necessarily trigger additional delays for briefs and hearings and appeals to sort out the former president's "official" and "private" acts.

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