The United States Court of Appeals for the
2nd Circuit – that’s right below the Supreme
Court – ruled that there’s no broad immunity
for the president for behavior that he engaged
in before he was in the White House.
This subpoena is for his tax returns and the
Trump Organization corporate records from
2015 and 2016.
It also ruled that since the subpoena’s
not to him, it’s to his accountants, it
doesn’t require him to do anything that
might be disruptive to his job as president.
All this is pretty much consistent with what
a trial judge ruled when the president sought
to throw out the subpoena.
What happens next will probably be an application
to a single justice of the Supreme Court to
stay, to stop the effect of this decision,
until the Court can decide—
Who is this justice?
That’ll be Justice Ginsburg because she
is assigned by geography to hear appeals from
federal courts coming from this circuit, the
Why, if I’m a US sitting president, why
am I not immune from prosecution?
Ah, great question.
This does not address prosecution.
This addresses investigation.
No one is immune from the government investigating
In this case, the behavior being investigating
occurred before he was president.
That’s what caused the court to say there’s
The court expressly did not rule – DID NOT
RULE – on whether a sitting president can
be prosecuted by a state court.
The answer to that is he probably cannot but
that’s a guess from me.
So they request from the accountants– I have
30 seconds here: Ginsburg does what and what
happens after that?
So if she stays the effect of the decision,
then the Court has all the time it wants to
decide whether or not to hear the appeal.
If she doesn’t stay the effect of the decision,
I would imagine the president would then appeal
to the entire court asking for a stay.
If no stay is issued, then the subpoena’s
going to be complied with.
Remember, it’s not a subpoena to him, he
can’t physically stop it.
So it’s November 2019—
How’s this play out time table-wise?
If the Supreme Court were to hear this, I
think they would hear it on an emergency basis,
meaning before Christmas.
This is Fox News’ senior judicial analyst
Andrew Napolitano delivering yet another blow
to the White House as he explains the implications
of Trump’s latest loss in the judicial system.
Trump had previously sued the Manhattan DA’s
office to block a subpoena it sent to his
accounting firm, Mazars USA, for 8 years of
his tax returns.
And in case you haven’t heard the argument
that Trump’s lawyers made in court, his
private attorney William Consovoy argued that
a sitting president has “absolute immunity
from criminal process of any kind,” that
he cannot be prosecuted or even investigated
while in office, even for shooting someone
on the streets of Manhattan.
And this assertion came in response to Trump’s
own statement from 2016, in which he said
that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue
and not lose any voters.
And so obviously, Trump’s lawyers decided
that they’d ACTUALLY try and argue this
defense, that Trump could indeed kill someone
in broad daylight and not only could he not
be prosecuted for murder, but that police
wouldn’t even be allowed to INVESTIGATE
This might be a good time to remind you that
Trump ran on a platform of “law and order.”
And I know you’re not gonna believe this,
but somehow this defense didn’t hold up.
US District Judge Victor Marrero not only
dismissed the lawsuit brought on by Trump
but called his assertion of temporary presidential
immunity “repugnant to the nation’s fundamental
structure and constitutional values.”
He went on to say that such a position “would
constitute an overreach of executive power.”
And I know what you’re thinking – Donald
Overreaching his executive power?
Trump’s team appealed that decision only
to find that the 2nd US Court of Appeals,
in a unanimous 3-0 ruling, upheld the district
court’s decision ordering Trump’s tax
returns to be released pursuant to the Manhattan
At this point, the ONLY institution that could
still stop Trump’s taxes from being released
is the Supreme Court.
And you have to admit that there’s some
poetic justice in Justice Ginsburg being responsible
for deciding whether or not to issue a stay
on the ruling, given that the White House
has been falling over itself the bury the
85-year-old liberal justice despite the fact
that she’s still very much alive.
The Trump administration reportedly began
preparing to replace Ginsburg after she simply
missed oral arguments one time at the beginning
of this year.
Imagine missing work on Monday and your boss
plans a candlelight vigil in your memory that
With all of that said, that’s not to say
that Justice Ginsburg won’t rule fairly
because, unlike the entirety of this administration,
there are still some vestiges of the federal
government that value, you know, our democracy.
And I know Republicans, in their desperation
to protect Trump from any and all accountability,
will claim that the release of his tax returns
is nothing more than a partisan witch hunt,
but there’s serious significance in allowing
the release of Trump’s tax returns.
In this specific instance, the Manhattan DA
is investigating Trump’s role in illegal
hush money payments for his affairs.
And keep in mind, while this might seem minor
compared to the REST of Trump’s crimes,
that doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.
Michael Cohen is literally in prison for his
role in this scheme.
And not only did Cohen administer those hush
money payments, but Trump reimbursed him,
meaning Trump made undisclosed contributions
to his own campaign AND because the payments
were disguised as legal fees, Trump very likely
deducted them on his tax returns as a business
expense, which is tax fraud.
But the only way to find that out is, you
guessed it, by seeing his tax returns.
But beyond that, knowing where Trump’s financial
interests lie is also a matter of national
It might help explain things like, for example,
why he might’ve completely rolled over for
the Turks and allowed them unfettered access
to attack our allies, the Kurds, and whether
it just might have anything to do with the
fact that Trump owns property in Istanbul.
Knowing where Trump has financial interests
might be helpful so we have a little advance
notice when we’re suddenly going to let
the people guarding the ISIS prison cells
be subject to attack by a hostile foreign
And so now, our attention will now turn to
the Supreme Court, where the justices will
have to decide whether to shield a president
who believes that he has the right to commit
crimes uninhibited while he’s in office,
or if our laws and national security supersede
Trump’s superiority complex.