Trump Could Get Away With Shooting Someone, His Lawyer Says

Yuri Gripas/Zuma

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As the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump grips the nation, his lawyers continue to pursue the argument that he is above the law—and that his immunity from punishment would apply even if he were to shoot someone in the middle of New York’s Fifth Avenue.

At a campaign event in 2016, Trump said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” On Wednesday morning, William Consovoy, an attorney for Trump, made the case that such an action could not be criminally investigated while Trump was in office at a hearing in the ongoing court battle over the president’s tax returns. 

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. subpoenaed eight years of Trump’s tax returns for his investigation of whether Trump broke any New York State laws when he reimbursed his now-imprisoned personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for hush fund payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Trump refused to release his taxes and sued the DA under the argument that a sitting president can’t be prosecuted. His lawyers are now appealing a federal judge’s ruling that called their argument “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values.”

Listen to audio of the exchange between Consovoy and Judge Denny Chin below:

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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