OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A legal analyst and expert for CNN made a startling prediction during a network segment on Thursday as they were discussing former President Donald Trump’s increasing legal dilemmas.
Elie Honig called out Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for “intermixing” politics with her prosecution of the former president for allegedly interfering in the state’s electoral processes following his 2020 loss to Joe Biden.
Willis has consistently indicated her intention to bring forth racketeering charges against Trump. The charges appear to be founded, at least in part, on a recorded phone call where the former president appeared to exert pressure on Georgia state election officials, urging them to find the necessary votes to secure the pivotal swing state in his favor.
At one point, Honig praised the DA: “Willis has a really impressive and distinguished history as a prosecutor. She has prosecuted all sorts of cases. She has done, by and large, a very good job.”
But then he pivoted: “But I have to point out she has intermixed her own political fortunes with this case in a way that I think is going to backfire because significantly against her.”
Honig was then pressed further on the matter by co-host Poppy Harlow.
“First of all, she’s already been thrown off a piece of this case because she’s subpoenaed. Hosted a fundraiser for his Democratic opponent. The judge threw off that part of the case and said, quote, What were you thinking? Second of all, she’s used her own subpoenas in this case. She’s subpoenaed Lindsey Graham. Then she recirculated a cartoon, a political cartoon, making fun of Lindsey Graham as part of a political fundraising effort,” Honig noted.
“She’s also made inappropriate public statements giving her opinion that this is a criminal case when the grand jury has not voted on yet on that yet she gave her opinion about Donald Trump’s criminal state of mind. All of this is bad form by a prosecutor. She absolutely does know better. And it’s going to be a problem for her when this case comes to fruition,” Honig added.
CNN’s Elie Honig Predicts Fani Willis’ Intermixing ‘Political Fortunes’ With Prosecution of Trump Will ‘Backfire’ https://t.co/AHIPLfQ9j6
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) August 4, 2023
As the segment progressed, Honig offered additional insight into the situation.
“Legally, here is what happens. She’s already been removed from a piece of the case because of a political conflict of interest that she created,” he said. “And when this goes into the courts, count on Donald Trump arguing that she is improperly mixed her own politics in there and needs to be removed from the case.
“I know that’s been rejected, but that’s only because it was prematurely made once the case is brought. They will argue that she has a conflict of interest and they’ll argue for prosecutorial misconduct and selective prosecution. I don’t know if those arguments will succeed, but she’s created this problem for herself,” he said.
Earlier in the week, 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 Willis and to have her “disqualified” from the case.
During a segment on Tuesday’s “CNN This Morning,” Harlow pointed to a “striking” passage in McBurney’s ruling where he commented about Trump “capitalizing” on the case against him.
“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 said.
“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.