Sunday morning an MSNBC analyst poured cold water on a proposal from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts use his authority and dismiss the impeachment trial of Donald Trump before it even begins.
Appearing on Fox News on Saturday night, Giuliani — who serves as a legal advisor to the president — suggested Roberts could, at the behest of the GOP leadership, call off the trial of the president.
According to Giuliani, “All it says is in the Senate, it says there shall be a trial in the United States Senate, the chief justice presides. What happens at the beginning of trial very often? The defense lawyer stands up and says, ‘your honor, I move for the dismissal of the indictment because it fails to state a crime.’ The chief justice will be given the power to dismiss. If we do go to a trial, he’ll [Trump] get acquitted. I could even argue that politically it would be better to go to trial.”
Asked to comment by host Kendis Gibson, MSNBC analyst Allan Smith dismissed the proposal as incorrect since the trial is being held in the Senate which has different rules for impeachment.
“Regarding Chief Justice Roberts, in order to dismiss a case in the Senate, that would be up to a vote and it’s unlikely to see the vote even ending in a 50-50 tie that would allow Roberts to make such a decision, right?” he explained. “You would need to have a certain number of Republican Senators to come over, but just barely not enough to get it over the threshold where the dismissal would be, you know, put to the side based on a vote.”
“And it’s really difficult to see Chief Justice Roberts, if such a 50-50 vote did take place, be willing to put his thumb on the scale that hard and dismiss the case outright before anything is even heard — anything is presented from the House,” he added. “The scenario Giuliani is presenting is highly, if not downright impossible to take place — so difficult to see it happening.”