Former federal prosecutor says he’s ‘officially’ freaking out about Trump Jan. 6 case

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Former Acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal expressed alarm Sunday over how former President Trump’s federal case on charges related to the 2020 election is being delayed by consideration of his immunity claims.

“To use your phrase, Jen, at the beginning of this show: I am officially now at the freakout stage,” Katyal said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki.”

“I think we’re now at the point — to use a different legal phrase, justice delayed is justice denied. I mean, I can’t imagine a more compelling need for speed than the idea that American citizens deserve to know before the election whether a candidate for office is a felon and an insurrectionist,” added Katyal, who served as solicitor general in the Obama administration.

It was thought that the Trump case related to the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol could start next month, but an appeals court consideration of his immunity claims has now pushed that schedule back.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan suspended the case Friday given the wait for an appeals court decision.

It’s unclear when the case will be heard — and whether it can take place ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Trump is the likely GOP nominee for president this year.

Katyal further argued that he was particularly concerned because he didn’t think the presidential immunity case should take so long to decide.

When Trump’s legal team argued the total presidential immunity case before the three-judge District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals panel last month, Trump attorney John Sauer was presented with a hypothetical that led him to answer with a “qualified yes” that a president would be immune from prosecution if he ordered SEAL Team Six to kill a political opponent or if he sold pardons. The argument met heavy pushback from the panel.

Kaytal said the delays were “galling” to him because he believes it is an “easy case.”

“There is no responsible constitutional scholar who thinks Donald Trump is right, that there is an absolute immunity that a president can go and order his Navy SEAL Team Six to go murder his political opponent, and then go and murder the senators who would try him for impeachment. That cannot possibly be right,” Katyal said.

“And Judge Chutkan set a fast schedule here. And I have no idea what the Court of Appeals is doing right now. But I can tell you that I’m really worried that this delay is going to put the trial past June. It’s possible that Trump will try and go to the Supreme Court after he loses on the Court of Appeals. That can take months. This is a real problem,” he added.

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