On Monday’s broadcast of “America’s Newsroom,” network legal analyst Andrew Napolitano commented on an appeals court ruling that the New York district attorney could subpoena President Donald Trump’s taxes.
Napolitano said, “The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, that is right below the Supreme Court, ruled there is 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 is not to him but to his accountants, it doesn’t require him to do anything that might be disruptive of his job as president. It is 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 on whether or not they want to hear the case.”
Napolitano said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “is assigned by geography to hear appeals from federal courts coming from this circuit.”
He continued, “This does not address prosecution. This addresses the investigation. No one is immune from the government investigating their behavior. In this case, the behavior being investigated occurred before he was president. That is what caused the court to say there is no immunity. The court expressly did not rule, did not rule on whether or not 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.”
He added, “If she stays the effect of this 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 will be complied with. It is not a subpoena to him.
He concluded, “If the Supreme Court were to hear this, I think they would hear it in an emergency basis before Christmas.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN