During an MSNBC panel discussion Sunday evening, Alexander Heffner, PBS host of “The Open Mind,” cautioned against putting faith in Chief Justice John Roberts.
In an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton, Heffner outlined why Roberts’ impartiality isn’t exactly what Democrats think it is.
“But I’m tired of hearing about Chief Justice Roberts impartiality, this idea that he’s some kind of paragon of constitutional order,” Heffner said. “The proof is in the pudding. The reality is this Supreme Court had an opportunity to review the cases about whether the public should have access to Trump’s business and personal tax returns, whether the public should have the testimony of [John] Bolton and company.”
He noted that in those cases, the High Court refused to give a decision in a timely manner. If they had released a decision on whether the White House can ignore a subpoena, Roberts likely wouldn’t be put in this position.
“So, the Chief Justice knows, he’s intelligent, that he’s presiding over this trial where there’s incomplete evidence in part because of his own cover for the Republican Party,” Heffner continued. “This is a Chief Justice who sided with the majority that took voters off the rolls in Ohio for no other reason than they didn’t vote or they moved. He sided against marriage equality. Let’s understand this so-called judicial temperament. It may look like it, but it’s not the reality of the experience, and the Democrats ought to be super watchful of this because we know this game from [Brett] Kavanaugh, from [Neil] Gorsuch. We know what game he’s playing to give the Republicans cover.”
He concluded by saying that there’s no doubt in his mind that those decisions by the Supreme Court matter far more because the case against Trump is so clear-cut.
“We know Trump made the call. We know it,” he said. “What we don’t have access to yet as the public is the tax returns and the expanded testimonies that would show the pervasiveness of the unconstitutionality.”
Watch the full panel from MSNBC below:
Donald Trump has launched a 2020 campaign disinformation juggernaut — and it’s gaining speed
This article first appeared in Salon.
Never Trumpers fear for their safety if they dare attend CPAC: report
On Saturday, Politico profiled a handful of longtime conservatives who have criticized President Donald Trump — and the general consensus was that they feared hostility at this year's annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
One such figure was former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), a Tea Party darling who has since attacked Trump for undermining the rule of law, and briefly mounted a presidential primary challenge. He attended CPAC as a guest of comedian Trevor Noah, and attendees who saw him seemed conflicted. "Torn between catching up with an old colleague and being singled out by observers as talking to a Trump foe, they split the difference — and instead kept asking him how his wife was doing," wrote Tina Nguyen.
Walkouts as Roman Polanski wins best director at French Oscars
Roman Polanski won best director for "An Officer and a Spy" at a fractious ceremony for the French Oscars, the Cesars, that ended in walkouts and recrimination in Paris early Saturday.
The entire French academy had been forced to resign earlier this month amid fury that the veteran -- wanted in the US for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977 -- had topped the list of nominations.
Protesters chanting "Lock up Polanski!" tried to storm the theatre where the ceremony was being held before being pushed back by police firing tear gas.
And France's Culture Minister Franck Riester had warned that giving the maker of "Rosemary's Baby" a Cesar would be "symbolically bad given the stance we must take against sexual and sexist violence".