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Weekend Reads Trump Lawyer Says Even if He Shot Someone on Fifth Ave., He Can’t be Prosecuted

22:05  23 october  2019
22:05  23 october  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

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Trump has blanket immunity even if he shoots someone on Fifth Avenue , his lawyer says . By Emily Saul and Lia Eustachewich. An attorney for President Trump agreed Wednesday that the commander-in-chief couldn’ t be criminally prosecuted — even if he hypothetically shot someone on

Lawyers for President Trump argue that he is immune from criminal investigation while in office.Credit Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times. Carey R. Dunne, the Manhattan district attorney’s general counsel, cited the president’s famous claim that he could shoot someone on Fifth

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie standing next to a car: Lawyers for President Trump argue that he is immune from criminal investigation while in office.© Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times Lawyers for President Trump argue that he is immune from criminal investigation while in office.

A federal appeals panel on Wednesday expressed skepticism that President Trump had a right to block state prosecutors in Manhattan from enforcing a subpoena that sought his personal and corporate tax returns for the last eight years.

The judges on a three-member panel in Manhattan peppered a lawyer for Mr. Trump with questions, expressing skepticism about the president’s argument that he was immune from criminal investigation. A lower court judge earlier this month rejected Mr. Trump’s claim, which has not previously been tested in the courts.

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President Trump 's attorney William Consovoy argued in federal court that President Trump enjoys absolute immunity from criminal investigations while in office, even if he shot someone .

Trump ’s lawyer says he can ’ t be prosecuted . 16 legal experts explain whether that’s true or not. President Trump ’s lawyer argued in a federal court on Wednesday morning that he could not be prosecuted for a crime even if he shot someone in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue .

Carey Dunne, the Manhattan district attorney’s general counsel, cited the president’s famous claim that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue without losing political support.

Mr. Dunne asked what would happen in that extreme scenario? “Would we have to wait for an impeachment proceeding to be initiated?” he said.

Later, Judge Denny Chin posed the Fifth Avenue hypothetical to William S. Consovoy, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, and asked for his view.

“Local authorities couldn’t investigate? They couldn’t do anything about it?” Judge Chin asked, adding: “Nothing could be done? That’s your position?”

“That is correct. That is correct,” Mr. Consovoy said.

The panel did not immediately indicate when it would issue a ruling, but Judge Robert A. Katzmann, the appeals court’s chief judge, signaled that he and the other judges understood both the gravity of the matter and that they were unlikely to have the final word.

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As a candidate, Trump said his support was so strong he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not “lose any NEW YORK — President Trump ’s private attorney said Wednesday that the president could not be investigated or prosecuted as long as he is in the White

An attorney for President Trump told a federal appeals court Wednesday that Trump could not be prosecuted even if he shot someone on An attorney for President Trump Donald John Trump Amash confirms he won' t seek reelection Chicago mayor to White House press secretary: 'Hey, Karen.

“This case seems bound for the Supreme Court,” Judge Katzmann said early in the arguments, adding later, as the hearing wrapped up, “We have the feeling you may be seeing each other again in Washington.”

A deal struck with the district attorney’s office will allow the president time to seek a speedy review of the appellate ruling in the Supreme Court on the condition that he ask that the court hear the case in its current term, which ends in June.

The district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat, has agreed not to seek enforcement of the subpoena until the Supreme Court either refuses to hear Mr. Trump’s case or issues an opinion, whichever comes first. Mr. Vance was present in the spectator section of the courtroom as the arguments took place.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan typically decides cases through three-judge panels. The panel members who heard the subpoena dispute were Judge Katzmann, Judge Chin and Judge Christopher F. Droney.

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Trump attorney: President could ' shoot someone on Fifth Avenue ' and not be charged in office. Asked about that, Consovoy said a president could be charged with such a crime once he was out of During the 2016 campaign, Trump first raised the scenario about what would happen if he shot

One of President Donald Trump 's private attorneys told a federal appeals court that Trump could not be prosecuted if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue . Consovoy said Trump no longer would be immune once he leaves office. "This is not a permanent immunity," he said .

Judge Katzmann was appointed to the appeals court by President Bill Clinton. Judges Chin and Droney were appointed by President Barack Obama.

The appeal by Mr. Trump’s lawyers came after a lower court judge ruled on Oct. 7 that the president’s argument that he could not be investigated by a local prosecutor was “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values.”

Mr. Vance’s office in late August subpoenaed Mr. Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, for his personal and corporate tax returns dating to 2011.

The district attorney had been investigating whether any New York State laws were broken when Mr. Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, reimbursed Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, for payments he made to the pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels, who had said she had an affair with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump has denied the affair.

Mr. Trump went into federal court last month, trying to block the district attorney’s subpoena. The president argued that the Constitution prevented a sitting president from being “investigated, indicted or otherwise subjected to criminal process.”

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from any prosecution until he leaves office— even if he shot someone on New York City’s Fifth Avenue (echoing Trump ’s 2016 comment that he Consovoy said no⁠—not while a president was in office. Key background: A U.S. district judge rejected Trump ’s argument that a sitting president is

In 2016, candidate Trump said he "wouldn' t lose any voters" even if he shot somebody on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue . One of President Donald Trump 's lawyers argued in court on Wednesday that the president cannot be charged with a crime while serving in office— even if he

“The subpoena is a bad faith effort to harass the president by obtaining and exposing his confidential financial information, not a legitimate attempt to enforce New York law,” the president’s lawyers wrote.

After Judge Victor Marrero of United States District Court in Manhattan, in a 75-page ruling, rejected Mr. Trump’s broad argument, the president’s lawyers appealed to the Second Circuit.

They contended that Mr. Trump’s claim of absolute immunity was meritorious; they said the framers of the Constitution, recognizing the need for a strong chief executive, created a process — impeachment — for investigating and removing a president in a manner that would “embody the will of the people.”

“A lone county prosecutor cannot circumvent this arrangement,” they said.

The Justice Department also weighed in, telling the appeals panel that the case raised “significant constitutional issues.”

The government is not a party to the case, but has the right to provide its views.

The Justice Department, led by William P. Barr, asked that the court stop the release of Mr. Trump’s tax returns and reiterated its longstanding position that a sitting president may not be charged or prosecuted.

But the department appeared to leave open the door for Mr. Trump to be investigated by Mr. Vance’s office.

The department argued that a local prosecutor had to meet a high legal bar before investigating a sitting president, and that Mr. Vance should not be able to obtain the president’s personal records “unless and until — at a minimum — the district attorney is able to make the required showing of particularized need.”

The department said the district attorney would have to show that the records it was seeking from Mr. Trump were central to the grand jury investigation, were not available elsewhere and were needed immediately, as opposed to after Mr. Trump leaves office.

Mr. Vance’s office, citing Mr. Trump’s arguments in the case, told the appeals court in a brief that Mr. Trump’s “core position on every one of these matters is that the United States presidency places him beyond the reach of the law.”

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