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CNN Legal Analyst Rips Judge Who Chastised Trump In Georgia Case

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A legal analyst at left-leaning CNN actually took former President Donald Trump’s side in a case handed down by a judge in Georgia pertaining to an investigation into alleged election interference in 2020.

CNN legal analyst Elie Honig defended Trump’s politicization of the case against him while riffing on Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney after he smacked the former president in an order denying Trump’s legal motion to quash the grand jury investigation headed by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and to have her “disqualified” from the case.

During a segment on Tuesday’s “CNN This Morning,” co-host Poppy Harlow pointed to a “striking” passage in McBurney’s ruling where he commented about Trump “capitalizing” on the case against him.

“Judge Robert McBurney, he wrote something really interesting that ties to the point that that that Phil and Errol are making,” Harlow said. “And he said he talked about Trump’s efforts to capitalize on these legal woes. And he said, and for some, quote, ‘being the subject of a criminal investigation, can a la Rumplestiltskin be turned into a golden political capital, making it seem more providential than problematic.’

“That was striking,” she added.

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“Yes. So that motion was procedurally and legally flawed, I think. I think I gave it a zero percent chance of success on this show, which I don’t often do. Thankfully, that turned out to be correct,” Honig responded.

But I’m going to differ with the judge. I’m going to take issue with that statement by the judge. There’s nothing illegal about politicizing an indictment! You’re actually allowed to do that. You’re allowed to fundraise off of ‘I’ve been indicted, and this is unjust,'” he continued.

“He’s not saying it’s illegal, but he’s pointing it out. That’s what was notable,” Harlow countered.

“He should not be the police of manners here. The judge should be worried about the law and conflict of interest. In fact, finally, Willis has fundraised — the DA — off of this case. That is ethically questionable,” Honig responded.

“When she was running,” said Harlow.

Honig added:

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Yes, she has used subpoenas, in this case, to say, “Hey, everyone, I just subpoenaed Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator, donate to me.”.

I think that’s an ethical problem. Donald Trump doing what he’s doing is distasteful, is perhaps manipulative, as Errol and Phil pointed out, of people who are donating to him, who don’t quite realize this money is not going for yard signs. It’s going for lawyers to make sure people don’t flip, but it’s not illegal. And I actually think it’s beyond the judge’s province to get into that.

McBurney ruled against Trump’s bid on Monday morning, stating in a nine-page decision that it is simply too early for Trump or his supporters to attempt to stop Georgia prosecutors from looking into him, largely due to the fact that he has not yet been indicted, Politico reported.

“While being the subject (or even target) of a highly publicized criminal investigation is likely an unwelcome and unpleasant experience, no court ever has held that that status alone provides a basis for the courts to interfere with or halt the investigation,” wrote McBurney, who spent a year overseeing District Attorney Fani Willis’ special grand jury investigation of Trump’s election-related actions.

Willis has hinted that she will likely make her final charging decisions in August, and many believe she will recommend charges against Trump and a long list of potential enablers who helped him attempt to tamper with the results of the elections in Georgia and other states won by Joe Biden.

Trump will then have the opportunity to file motions to contest the events leading up to the charges, according to McBurney.

“Guessing at what that picture might look like before the investigative dots are connected may be a popular game for the media and blogosphere, but it is not a proper role for the courts and formal legal argumentation,” McBurney wrote.

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