Former prosecutor predicts Trump is about to get 'bench-slapped' by the Supreme Court
Photo: AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary

Former federal prosecutor Joyce White Vance spoke to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace about the recent filing to appeal the 11th Circuit Court's opinion to allow the Justice Department to continue its work on the investigation of the theft of government documents.

Justice Clarence Thomas is the one who generally oversees the 11th Circuit, but Vance explained that folks shouldn't read too much into that.

"He is our Circuit Justice in the 11th Circuit. These sorts of matters go to him initially. I would expect that unless he decides to dispense with this on his own, that he will take it to the full court and it won't be a decision made just by Justice Thomas," she told Wallace.

She went on to talk about an extremely technical legal issue from Trump's $3 million lawyer.

He "is arguing this was not an appealable final order. You can't just appeal any order that a trial court enters," she said. "It has to be a certain type of order under 1292, a final appealable order, and they say this is not. Of course, the 11th Circuit has already addressed this issue and talked through the legal insider sort of issues involving granting or excluding a stay, which is what DOJ asked here. They wanted a stay of Judge [Aileen] Cannon's orders that didn't permit them to use classified documents. This goes up to the Supreme Court. It seems like it should be a pretty pro forma discussion."

She went on to say that there's a risk for Trump in this case and that nothing good will happen.

"And he could well find himself getting bench-slapped by the Supreme Court," she continued. "One of the real issues working not too far below the surface is that Judge Cannon herself really should not have entertained jurisdiction to hear this matter at all. DOJ has argued from the get-go that she lacks equitable jurisdiction. She made a very shaky finding in this regard. Now that entire ball of wax is sitting in the Supreme Court, and I don't think this will go well for Trump, even though this has been where he's wanted to be all along thinking the court would be favorable towards him."

Wallace asked Vance for reassurance that the Supreme Court would do the right thing. There is a very real question about the High Court after they moved to eliminate Roe v. Wade, which was widely supported by the overwhelming majority of American voters.

"So, this court is a difficult topic, especially as we launch this week into a new term of the court where we know we're looking to see major rights eroded," Vance conceded. "But the court, when it comes to procedural issues involving the former president, for instance, when it was asked to pass on cases after the election has been fairly solid. Nicolle, I would say the one place you can take heart is that the great thing about being a Supreme Court justice, or a federal judge for that matter, is you have life tenure. Even the president who appointed you can't remove you from the bench."

She noted that the justices are facing serious criticism over having their own political agenda and this is an opportunity where they could put the law and the country first over politics.

"The context is a criminal investigation with national security implications," Vance continued. "And instead of letting that proceeding go forward, like it would if he was anyone else, the former president files the civil action and tries to get a handpicked judge to shut it down. That's not a process that the Supreme Court is going to look on with any sort of happiness. It doesn't do anything to improve the mood of the country as it considers whether or not it still has confidence in the courts. This is in many ways an opportunity for the Supreme Court to do the right thing and fix some of the damage it's done, and I hope for all of our sakes they'll take advantage of that opportunity."

See the video discussion below or at this link:

Former prosecutor predicts Trump is about to get 'bench-slapped' by the Supreme Court