Good morning from New York.
Trump's subpoena fight with Manhattan DA Vance heads to the Second Circuit this morning at 10 am EST, and then the arraignment of Giuliani's associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman start at 11:30 am EST.
Properly caffeinated, for @CourthouseNews.
Hearing up ahead.
Chief Second Circuit Judge Robert Katzmann:
"Good morning, you may be seated."
Up first, Trump v. Vance.
Katzmann reads out an agreement between the parties to stay subpoenas for 10 days after the Second Circuit's order, giving time for Team Trump to petition SCOTUS.
(Agreement appears to rule out en banc in Second Circuit.)
Katzmann asks Trump attorney to "walk us through" the facts of the case. He notes discrepancy between Trump Organization's prior compliance with four productions.
Trump atty: "We are objecting to the entirety of the subpoena."
Trump attorney notes that DA "declined to say" that the president is not a target of the subpoena and investigation.
"We can only speculate as to who they may be and what relationship they may have to the president."
Judge Droney notes that OLC memos and other arguments for immunizing a sitting president "all seem to say it applies up to the point of indictment, not before that."
Otherwise, the judge notes, the Nixon tapes case would not exist.
Droney hammers the Supreme Court precedent in United States vs. Nixon.
Trump's attorney: The president was a "third party there, not the subject."
Droney: Just like everybody knew in those days, the ultimate target would be the president.
As for whether the target of Vance's probe is Trump, Droney says: "It certainly walks and talks that way."
The Trump attorney making the arguments is William Consovoy.
Chin: Your position, as you said moments ago, is that the immunity is absolute.
Chin continues that if the president commits a crime, "no matter how heinous," even if it occurred before his term in office, no prosecutor could even investigate it?
Consovoy again answers in the affirmative.
Chin points out that the opening-of-the-floodgates were made in Clinton v. Jones, and that has not come to pass.
Consovoy: "History will judge" whether those making those warnings were "correct on that."
Consovoy calls DA Vance's subpoena a "photocopy" of congressional subpoenas, and he claims Trump didn't intervene in the SDNY investigation because that one was handled "appropriately."
ADA Carey Dunne up now for Vance.
"The appellant's counsel told us bluntly that he would never, ever agree to release [Trump's] tax returns."
Katzmann addresses Trump's claim that the "subpoena copies the congressional subpoenas which relate to the Washington, D.C. hotel."
Dunne: The simple reason for relying on the text form the congressional subpoena... to make it easier on the accounting firm to obtain same [docs]
Katzmann also pressed about DA's interest in Trump's DC hotel.
Dunne says that though Manhattan DA is based in NY, transactions at issue had "tentacles" elsewhere.
Katzmann: Does your office commit to preserving the confidentiality of the [responsive documents]?
Dunne: "Yes, we do," and they would be bound by law not to share with Congress, for example.
He adds: "There is no privilege for tax returns."
Dunne: "They're making this up, your honor. That's all I can say."
Arguments turn to whether the case belonged in state or federal court.
U.S. District Judge Marrero ruled state, earlier this month.
ICYMI his scathing ruling: https://www.courthousenews.com/judge-denies-virtually-limitless-shield-to-trump-in-tax-fight/ …
Dunne challenges Trump's malleable position that he's bringing this action as a private citizen and a "sovereign."
Dunne questions what would happen if the president "did pull a gun out and [shot] someone on Fifth Avenue."
Would police be disabled? he asks
Katzmann: This case seems bound for the Supreme Court.
Dunne: I think both parties see that as an inevitability, your honor.
🚨 Trump's attorney Consovoy just agreed that Trump could NOT be criminally investigated while in office if he shot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, when pressed by Judge Chin.
Upshot of today’s arguments:
Avoid Fifth Avenue in Manhattan at all costs.
Story in the editing queue for @CourthouseNews.
Now, taking a big gulp of coffee and heading to the arraignments of Giuliani's allies Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
What a day. Stick around.
You can follow @KlasfeldReports.
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