On a recent edition of CNN’s “Laura Coates Live,” Geraldo Rivera made a claim about former President Donald Trump’s January 6 criminal trial constituting “double jeopardy.” Laura Coates, the CNN anchor and legal expert, quickly refuted this claim with a smile.
Rivera, a former Fox News personality, has been making appearances on various media outlets, including CNN. During the segment, Rivera and ex-CNN host Brian Stelter engaged in some mutual admiration. However, when Rivera mentioned “double jeopardy” in the context of Trump’s January 6 trial, Coates circled back to address and dismiss the claim.
Stelter initially highlighted the importance of the federal trial for January 6, emphasizing the need to counter false narratives surrounding the events of that day. Rivera, in response, questioned whether Trump’s impeachment process amounted to “double jeopardy,” given the Senate’s acquittal. He expressed concerns about various lawsuits against Trump and suggested that they might generate sympathy for him.
Coates responded by thanking Stelter for his compliment about her show and then refuted Rivera’s claim. She clarified that it was not double jeopardy according to the law because one was a political discussion, referring to the impeachment process, and the other was a legal trial.
The exchange showcased Coates’ legal expertise as she quickly addressed and debunked the claim about double jeopardy, maintaining the integrity of the legal concepts involved in the discussion.
STELTER: It matters because January 6th has been redefined. There has been a new narrative, a new reality presented by some folks on the right, on the far right. And Geraldo, to his credit, spoke out against Tucker Carlson for doing that, for promoting false flag conspiracy theories.
But it’s those conspiracy theories that have allowed Trump to return to center stage. I realized as I was writing this book, Trump was de- platformed. He was shamed out of the public square three years ago. But he was brought back to the center by these conspiracies about January 6th.
That’s why the federal trial, it’s one of the many reasons why it’s so important to put on under the scene what really happened and why, and to get away from all this nonsense about feds and false flags and government agents. It’s important that we speak out against those lies. I got to give Geraldo credit here since we’ve never been on T.V. together. He did speak out against that.
COATES: Geraldo, do you want to return that embrace?
RIVERA: I appreciate that.
STELTER: Oh, no, he doesn’t.
RIVERA: Yes, I appreciate that, Brian. I always thought that you were pretty good on T.V., too. But here’s my one big beef, Laura. I think that this is, you know, very — people can get their arms wrapped, their arms around this. I called for President Trump’s impeachment on the 7th day of January 2021. The day after January 6th, I said he deserved to be impeached. He was impeached by the House of Representatives, but then he was acquitted by the United States Senate. You know, I would have convicted him. The Senate acquitted him.
Doesn’t Jack Smith’s efforts in a way smack of double jeopardy? I mean, isn’t the impeachment process the way we punish errant presidents, people who violate the oath of their office? It just seems to me that a lot of these various lawsuits against Trump as outrageous as his behavior has been, and it really has been, in many cases, low down and dirty.
But still, he went before the United States Senate or he didn’t physically show up, but his case was litigated. The Senate acquitted him. You know, you needed two-thirds vote. He didn’t get anywhere near two-thirds vote for conviction. You know, that’s the Constitution.
And I saw your earlier segment of the lawsuit to keep him off the ballot in Colorado. It’s really — you know, it’s not for a state to determine who’s on the ballot for the presidential election. I think it’s really going ad hominem. They’re going after him in ways that generate sympathy for him, you know, exactly what you shouldn’t be.
COATES: Well, two points. One, thank you for watching the entire “Laura Coates Live” show, I do agree that it’s dynamite, 11:00 p.m. Eastern, weekdays. And number two, I will say it’s not double jeopardy, according to the law, because one was a political discussion —
RIVERA: I’m a big fan.
COATES: — and one was the — you know what, let’s not argue, fellas. I’m glad you both were here. Thank you so much.