Donald Trump’s lawyer, John Sauer, faced intense scrutiny in court on Monday, and legal experts on MSNBC suggested his evasive responses may be attributed to his awareness of the weak footing of his case.
During the hearing before the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals, Sauer consistently dodged hypothetical questions, prompting Judge Cornelia Pillard to express frustration, noting his lack of consideration for the importance of a fair trial.
Legal experts Glenn Kirschner, Neal Katyal, and Andrew Weissmann, speaking on MSNBC, concurred that Sauer’s reluctance to answer indicated a recognition of the unfavorable nature of his case.
Katyal, a former acting solicitor general, emphasized the repeated call for Sauer to address the questions directly, with Judge Pillard investing significant time in the pursuit of a clear response, as per a report by Raw Story on November 21.
The prolonged duration of the hearing, stretching beyond the typical timeframe, was attributed to the judges’ meticulous examination of legal arguments. While such extended proceedings are not uncommon for the court, the experts suggested that Sauer’s inability to provide satisfactory answers contributed to the prolonged session.
In summary, the legal analysts asserted that Sauer’s evasive tactics reflected a strategic retreat, signifying his acknowledgment of the challenges faced by Trump’s legal position in the case before the Court of Appeals.
Weissmann agreed in his assessment of Sauer’s tactics.
“If you think you are going to lose, and this proceeding is essentially stonewall here,” she said. “So, that there is no concessions that can be latched to go on to. But to give an example of what Neal is talking about in terms of the question that the court had that was really legitimate was to say, look, it’s a given that every defendant, when they are released, they are told do not commit a crime. That includes: Do not threaten a witness. That’s not a gag order. That’s just — you can’t commit a criminal act while on bail.”
Katyal added that Sauer wasn’t the only one who faced tough questions, as special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecutors did as well.