Oct 23, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Trump lawyer argues the president can't be prosecuted for shooting someone

President Trump smiling

Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

William Consovoy, a lawyer for President Trump, claimed in federal appeals court that the president could shoot someone on New York City's 5th Avenue and not be prosecuted, Politico reports.

The big picture: Consovoy's comments were made on Wednesday during oral arguments over a subpoena for Trump's tax returns. Trump filed a lawsuit in New York last month to block the subpoena "on the grounds that as president, he has absolute immunity from criminal indictment or investigation," per Politico. A federal judge threw out Trump's suit to block the subpoena, and Trump filed an appeal.

What they're saying: Consovoy clarified he was not suggesting "permanent immunity," after Judge Denny Chin of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit asked, "Nothing could be done, that's your position?"

  • But as long as Trump is a sitting president, the attorney argued Trump could get away with the crime.

Flashback: The judge's question echoed a 2016 Trump campaign rally assertion that he could "stand in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot somebody" without losing voters.

Go deeper: The fight for Trump's taxes

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