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Trump lawyer makes extreme claim of immunity for president

As a candidate in 2016, Donald Trump once boasted that “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”

At the time, I remember thinking that even his admirers would find this obnoxious, and some would be so offended that they would switch to another candidate who was less egomaniacal (or does one mean megalomaniacal).

But I was wrong. Although he lost the popular vote, benefited from foreign interference on his behalf and domestic manipulation of the voting process, he did, indeed win the presidency, with 46.1 percent of the popular vote.

And now, apparently, it is his legal position that he could stand in the middle of the 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and he could not be investigated, let alone prosecuted.

This is not a joke. He didn’t say it (yet), but on Wednesday one of his lawyers took the explicit, not metaphorical or hyperbolic but actual legal position that if President Trump shot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue he would be immune from prosecution, at least during his presidency.

Really. Not kidding. Trump’s private attorney William S. Consovoy was actually trying to argue only that Trump didn’t have to turn over any of his tax or business records. (I leave it to you to consider why Trump is so desperate to keep those secret.)

But Consovoy made such an extreme claim of presidential immunity from any legal accountability or necessity to cooperate with any subpoena or court order or any such thing, that one of the judges hearing the case to decide whether Trump could be ordered to turn over tax and business records actually asked whether Consovoy’s claim of presidential immunity was so total that Trump could literally shoot someone in plain sight and not be held accountable in any way.

“Local authorities couldn’t investigate? They couldn’t do anything about it?” Judge Denny Chin asked. “Nothing could be done? That is your position?”

“That is correct,” Consovoy answered, emphasizing that the immunity applied only while Trump is in office.

The full Washington Post story on the claim of presidential immunity for shooting someone is here.

Comments (62)

  1. Submitted by Brian Simon on 10/23/2019 - 03:44 pm.

    I am not a lawyer, but understand his position to be constitutionally incorrect. If I recall correctly, the Clinton argument was that POTUS not be subject to civil litigation while in office. The Trump defense seems to argue for criminal immunity. To try to claim absolute immunity from any legal proceedings is a creative strategy.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 10/24/2019 - 09:22 am.

      What Giuliani has said is that for a president, the remedy is impeachment and then removal from office. This is the basis on which they are trying to claim presidential immunity from prosecution (and trying to stretch it to even investigation).

      • Submitted by Brian Simon on 10/24/2019 - 11:18 am.

        Yes, I understand their argument; my point is that it’s not based on the Constitution or precedent. i.e. they’re making stuff up. Part of the strategy, I suspect, is to run out the clock by going to court.

        • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 10/24/2019 - 02:19 pm.

          Indeed, running out the clock is central to the Trump legal team’s strategy here. In the live-streamed Appeals Court hearing yesterday, one heard Trump’s attorney list steps they would immediately take should the three-judge panel affirm the District Court’s ruling that a total Trump immunity from any law while he’s President is “ridiculous” and flies in the face of the essence of our Constitution..

          I remind everyone: When he was being questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee for confirmation as Attorney General, William Barr asserted absolute immunity for the president: not even detention or investigation, much less indictment or criminal trial for even the most heinous of crimes would be possible, This goes far beyond the Justice Dept’s Office of Legal Counsel’s opinion–not law, just an opinion that ruined the Mueller Report–that a sitting president cannot be indicted for a crime, or face trial for it.

          Also chilling as we listened to the 50-plus minutes of legal argument on this subpoena yesterday: They all were using the term “sovereign” to refer to a president and his prerogatives. Perhaps law school teaches lawyers not to blink at that term [I think it refers to individual privilege or protected rights], but laymen shiver, because the term normally and most frequently refers to kings. Not presidents. And Trump honestly thins he is king, already.

          Also: If Trump wins this case, not only would absolute immunity apply to Donald Trump. It would apply to anyone and any entity that had anything to do with him as president. His kids, Rudy Giuliani. Stephen Miller. That millionaire who bought the E.U ambassadorship. Paul Manafort. Etc.

          It also means, most directly, that a business Trump dealt with BEFORE he was president, and as a private citizen, does not have to obey a legal subpoena. This case deals with a third party, and Trump’s attorneys are saying that that third party–an accounting firm–doesn’t have to obey a legal order having to do with Donald Trump.

          Total lawlessness.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/24/2019 - 12:04 pm.

        That argument is a stretch, even for Giuliani. A judgment of impeachment can remove a President from power, and “disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.” A President who is impeached may still be prosecuted and convicted under criminal law for his crimes.

        Nowhere does the Constitution say that a President may not be held criminally responsible while in office.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/24/2019 - 02:42 pm.

        Impeachment is a political remedy, not a legal one.
        Conviction in a court of law is the legal remedy;
        the court may be Federal or State; Federal pardons apply only to Federal courts.

  2. Submitted by Erik Granse on 10/23/2019 - 04:12 pm.

    It’s a staggering claim that the president has absolute immunity from any law while in office.

    If you give the officeholder that kind of power, it’s a powerful disincentive to ever peacefully leave office.

    These people really are fascists, aren’t they?

  3. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 10/23/2019 - 07:35 pm.

    So if Trump wanted to nuke say Venezuela, according to his lawyers, no problem! Sees his democratic challenger on stage at a debate and takes them out, again, no problem. Doesn’t like the questions a reporter is asking, boom, end of story, again no problem. Guess that is what the right wing gun crazies always wanted with “hold your ground”! A president beyond reproach dictator or king?

  4. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 10/23/2019 - 08:07 pm.

    Ask any of our Second Amendment centric friends here and you will quickly learn that the Second Amendment is not about:

    Amassing a gun collection
    Or shooting sports & target shooting
    Or hunting
    Or even supporting a well regulated state militia.

    No, they will tell us it is about “refreshing the tree of liberty” or “protection from a rogue government that interferes with our constitutionally guaranteed rights”.

    And now President Trump has said:

    “Article II allows me to do whatever I want,”

    His lawyer now says he can shoot an ordinary citizen with no consequences as long as he is in office.

    The Constitution says:

    Article I, Section 2, Clause 5

    The House of Representatives … shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

    Trump says they have no right to do this and will not comply with any part of the House’s impeachment process

    The Constitution says:

    Article I, Section 9, Clause 8

    No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State

    Trump says it is the:

    “phony emoluments clause,”

    As we all know, the list of Trump’s demonstrated contempt for Constitutional rights could go on like the largest set of Ukrainian nesting eggs ever seen.

    Well, our Second Amendment friends: Can we count on you for:

    “protection from a rogue government that interferes with our constitutionally guaranteed rights”.

    Unfortunately, we also know you folks have never been happier with a President. And that is absolute proof that for you the Constitution is a 27 word document that begins and ends with the Second Amendment.

    All the rest is frivolous speechifying and you really don’t care if Donald Trump or any future President tramples over it as long as proper homage is paid to your 27 words. You treat the 27 words as likely found on stone tablets in the Lost Arc of the Covenant. How are the rest of the Constitution’s words treated?

    Like a 90 day free contract at your local fitness center…

    To paraphrase Donald Trump”

    “Phony Second Amendment”

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/24/2019 - 02:46 pm.

      And of course, for the first 200 years of our Republic, the Second Amendment was held by the courts to refer to the States’ right to maintain ‘well regulated militias’ (interpreted as the National Guard), not to the individual ownership of firearms. That is a recent aberration.

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 10/24/2019 - 11:16 pm.

        Few topics bring out the wing nuts more than a gun debate.

        Even they know that Trump’s brutal Constitutional hypocrisy is indefensible and they are staying quiet.

        Because of their Second Amendment obsession they do know their Constitution better than most and understand calling one part “phony” is a path they know we should not go down.

        Of course, actually defending the Constitution in a manner that offends the Emperor is also to be avoided,

        • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 10/26/2019 - 11:04 am.

          I strongly disagree that Second Amendment fanatics
          know the Constitution better than most.”

          I submit that they disparage any other aspect of the Constitution, and the Amendments to it that form the Bill of Rights, that is not the Second Amendment.

          They don’t even believe that the rest of us have rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, if it’s not hiding our weaknesses behind some gun.

      • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 10/25/2019 - 09:28 am.

        I don’t think that’s true. Can you cite some court decisions that limit firearm possession to the National Guard?

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/25/2019 - 10:43 am.

          Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886)

          U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939)

          Do you want lower court opinions?

          Cases v. U.S., 131 F.2d 916 (1st Cir. 1942)

          U.S. v. Hale, 978 F.2d 1016 (8th Cir. 1992)

          U.S. v. Rybar, 103 F.3d 273 (3rd Cir. 1996).

          There are more, but I think that’s enough to get you started.

          • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 10/25/2019 - 12:26 pm.

            Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886)
            There is no Second Amendment violation when a state bans private citizens from forming personal military groups, drilling, and parading.

            The question was: “Can you cite some court decisions that limit firearm possession to the National Guard?”

            U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939)
            26 F.Supp. 1002, reversed

            Since there is no such finding in federal court, at least one that withstood appeal, I’ll save my time without looking at your lower court cites. There is no court ruling that restricts firearm ownership to the National Guard.

            I do appreciate you taking the time to look into it though.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/25/2019 - 01:59 pm.

              You need to learn how to read a legal citation. US v. Miller was decided by the US Supreme Court, and that decision could not be reversed by a federal trial court (the ones whose cases are in “F.Supp.”).

              You should also read the entire case, not just the Wikipedia entry. Nice try, though.

              • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 10/25/2019 - 02:34 pm.

                Supreme Court mentioned Miller in deciding Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010), both of which affirmed the right of private citizens to possess and bear arms.

                It doesn’t say what you think it does.

                There is no standing decision that says only the National Guard can possess firearms. The millions of firearms legally in possession of American citizens is as much proof as any rational person needs.

                But again, right, or in this case wrong, I do appreciate your taking time to present an opinion.

                • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/25/2019 - 03:00 pm.

                  That wasn’t the issue, was it? Under the pre-Heller reading of the Second Amendment, there was no constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms outside of membership in the militia. That does not mean that states could not elect to make the practice legal.

                  Just because the Constitution does not guarantee the right to do something does not mean that it is unlawful.

                  • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 10/25/2019 - 03:52 pm.

                    And again, your framing doesn’t address the question, which was and is, when and by what court order was the possession of firearms ever limited to the National Guard. Please re-read the statement that started this thread.

                    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/26/2019 - 10:48 am.

                      I apologize for my participation in this wildly off-topic thread.

            • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/25/2019 - 02:16 pm.

              You’ve (deliberately?) misread my statement.
              The 2nd Amendment did not refer to the right of a militia to bear arms — it referred to the right of the States to form militias.

              • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 10/25/2019 - 02:38 pm.

                So then sir, if it is as you say, why does the amendment clearly state “the right of the people” and not “the right of the state”?

                • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/25/2019 - 08:34 pm.

                  Same thing.
                  When the Constitution refers to individual persons it uses that term.

                  • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 10/26/2019 - 12:10 pm.

                    No sir. Please allow me to instruct you.

                    In Art1 section 2: “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States..”

                    Clearly separated the individual from the state.

                    Second amendment: “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

                    The people, sir. Not the states; clearly separated.

                    When the founders meant to confer right to the states, they referred to the states. In RECOGNIZING the rights of the people, they referred to the people.

                    This has been clearly recognized by the SCOTUS on several occasions.

                    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/26/2019 - 07:32 pm.

                      When the Constitution referred to people being chosen by the ‘People of the States’, it was referring to actions of the state legislatures, not a popular vote. The chosen representatives of the individuals.

                  • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/26/2019 - 02:00 pm.

                    We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish jus- tice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
                    “ARTICLE I
                    Section 1. Legislative powers; in whom vested
                    All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
                    Section 2. House of Representatives, how and by whom chosen Qualifications of a Repre- sentative. Representatives and direct taxes, how apportioned. Enumeration. Vacancies to be filled. Power of choosing officers, and of impeachment.
                    2. No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years,….”

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 10/25/2019 - 02:14 pm.

          Can one of our Second Amendment Constitutional scholars expand upon what constitutes a “phony clause” from a “legitimate clause”?

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/26/2019 - 12:45 pm.

            There is a two-part test:

            Is Donald Trump accused of violating it? If so, phony.

            If not, can it possibly be read as granting me the right to carry a gun anywhere I want? If so, legitimate.

            The rest was just put in for no good reason.

            • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 10/26/2019 - 07:37 pm.

              Yes, and it is interesting that our friend Conor will eagerly debate the merits of a Supreme Court gun case from the 1800s; but refuses to address the very simple question does he endorse and defend the President calling one part of the Constitution “phony” while wrapping himself in other parts he likes or is at least liked by his base.

              A left leaning President may someday call the Second Amendment “phony” so let’s get on the record here about how a President should respect or disrespect the work of our Constitutional authors.

    • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 10/25/2019 - 12:54 pm.

      Well, in fairness, “Article II” refers to the “Powers of the Executive” part of the Constitution, not the Second Amendment.

  5. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/24/2019 - 07:16 am.

    An elected king, that’s what America wants and needs….

    “…emphasizing that the immunity applied only while Trump is in office….”–what a great incentive for the peaceful passing of power.

  6. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 10/24/2019 - 07:47 am.

    CORNERED DESPERATION. Fling everything at the wall and hope something sticks. The stable genius isn’t so stable nor a genius.

  7. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 10/24/2019 - 08:48 am.

    There is such a thing as Godwin’s Law and I honor it mostly, but in the privacy of this comments section, can we talk?

    An election result I am haunted by is the final election in Weimar Germany, the one where the Nazi took 37% of the vote, far from a majority but far and away the largest vote total of any party. That election result wasn’t that different from President Trump’s popularity numbers today. Who were those people who voted for Hitler? Were they supporters of genocide? Or just folks tired of the status quo who wanted to try something different?

    • Submitted by richard owens on 10/25/2019 - 10:19 am.

      Psychologist Erich Fromm wrote Escape From Freedom (1941), and examined the phenomena of democratic societies reverting to authoritarianism.

      “If humanity cannot live with the dangers and responsibilities inherent in freedom, it will probably turn to authoritarianism.”

      “… If the rise of democracy set some people free, at the same time it gave birth to a society in which the individual feels alienated and dehumanized. Using the insights of psychoanalysis as probing agents, Fromm’s work analyzes the illness of contemporary civilization as witnessed by its willingness to submit to totalitarian rule.”

      According to Fromm, something inside the human psyche is the cause of a society turning to brute autocracy that will even overlook internment camps, ethnic and religious cleansing and militarism in their name.

      Fromm would contend we are not immune to this dark side, even though we would like to think Trump’s behavior in normal times would be completely unacceptable.

      It is the FEAR in us that submits and follows a strong authority to “make it all better. “

      • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 10/26/2019 - 11:11 am.

        I suggest pe0ope read Bob Woodward’s book about Donald Trump’s presidency: “Fear,” from 2018.

        Trump’s whole schtick is to instill and exacerbate fear in America, along with presenting himself as “the Only One Who Can Fix [It].”

        He really, really does want to be a dictator like his heroes Putin, Duterte, Mohammed bin Salman, Kim, Assad, and that thug who’s president of Hungary..

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/28/2019 - 11:16 am.

          I think most Presidents have entertained fantasies about how much easier things would be for them if they could be a dictator. Trump is unique in not just giving voice to those daydreams, but for making them a substantial part of his appeal.

  8. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/24/2019 - 09:55 am.

    Trump supporters apparently weren’t let in on the secret that they were really voting for an emperor, as we now see with various claims to legal, ethical and moral immunity from criticism, trial or punishment. It’s been painfully obvious that Trump has no moral or ethical compass for quite some time – dating back to long before he was even a candidate, much less President – but now it’s becoming equally obvious that his ethical bankruptcy has rubbed off on sycophants throughout the administration, as well as the Republican Party, which used to bill itself (and in some areas still does bill itself) as the party of “family values.”

    That would deservedly be a laughable claim were it not for the neofascism lurking behind it. Congressional representatives storming a closed hearing in the House yesterday might just as well have been wearing brown shirts and armbands sporting swastikas. There are plenty of Republicans on the House committees investigating Trump’s multiple misdeeds, so what the “protest” really signified was a willingness on the part of some Congressmen who claim to be “conservative” to ignore the House rules they wrote themselves just a few years ago, in an attempt to suppress committee findings that cast Mr. Trump in what we can charitably call “an unfavorable light.”

    Offhand, I can’t think of any of the nation’s founders – the creators of that inconvenient document we call the Constitution, the one that underlies all of our laws – who’d have agreed with the notion that the President is above the law, whether he thinks it’s “phony” or not.

    “L’état, c’est moi” is not a motto that a society – and particularly a Republican Party – that would have us believe it’s concerned about the rule of law can, or should, endorse.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/25/2019 - 12:17 pm.

      “Offhand, I can’t think of any of the nation’s founders – the creators of that inconvenient document we call the Constitution, the one that underlies all of our laws – who’d have agreed with the notion that the President is above the law, whether he thinks it’s “phony” or not.”

      The Founders would have been well aware of the case of King Charles I, who was beheaded after having been tried and found to be “a Tyrant, Traitor, Murderer and Public Enemy to the good people of this Nation.” The King, it seems, was not a person, but an office whose every occupant was entrusted with a limited power to govern by and according to the laws of the land.

      Patrick Henry invoked the memory of Charles in his legendary “Treason” speech.

  9. Submitted by Chas Dalseide on 10/24/2019 - 10:44 am.

    This reminds me of the story of Queen Christina, who, while not even
    living in her home country, had her servants kill one of her ex-lovers. She
    was defended by all other nobles and the Pope as having the right to do so. She did, however, have a somewhat reduced social life afterward.
    This may have influenced the revolutionaries and the Constitution.

  10. Submitted by Misty Martin on 10/24/2019 - 12:24 pm.

    No one is above the law – not even the President of the United States of America.

  11. Submitted by Matt Haas on 10/24/2019 - 02:30 pm.

    Play this out. If we are to take this at face value, what prevents Trump from picking up a firearm and summarily executing whichever political opponent he so chooses, while the Secret Service prevents any interference in said act. Additionally he would be secure in the knowledge that no impeachment will be forthcoming as any who might support such an action would be subject to a similar fate. What prevents him from ordering such an action by others? We’ve entered truly dangerous waters…

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 10/24/2019 - 05:27 pm.

      Well Matt haven’t seen any RW comments but, you can bet, the answers would be; any attempt to keep Trump from blowing people away would be an infringement on his 2nd amendment rights and his right to “hold his ground”, not to mention, he would be defending his version of the constitution, which to most Trumpies is the only version we should live by and as Trump changes it to suit his means that is totally acceptable, because anything anyone says contradictory or against Trump has to be against his version of the constitution, which back to step 1 gives him all the 2nd amendment rights and “hold your ground” innuendo to blow them folks away in order to preserve his version on the Constitution. And, no, this was not meant to be sarcastic it is derived from the arguments one can read on Minnpost and other on line forums relative to the topics at hand.

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 10/25/2019 - 01:49 pm.

        Wonder if they’ve thought through the scenarios where the shoe is on the other foot, as it were. I heard quite a detailed hypothesis regarding the “removal” of the conservative wing of the Supreme Court they might want to think through…

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/25/2019 - 08:37 pm.

          Where did you hear this?

          • Submitted by Matt Haas on 10/26/2019 - 09:37 pm.

            Hartmann’s radio program, something his brother thought up I believe. Thought exercise regarding a Democratic President and VP using the immunity as outlined to off the conservatives, and pack the court with liberals, requires a Senate willing to play along of course, but then, that idea doesn’t seem too outside the realm of possibility these days. The icing on the cake was the pardon following impeachment by the newly elevated VP…

            • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/27/2019 - 09:39 am.

              Way out in left field.
              Most of what discussion there is has concerned the impeachment of judges, and of course court packing, although that pretty well ended with FDR’s attempt.
              It is true that the number of members of the Supreme Court is not set by the Constitution — it’s mostly a matter of politics and tradition.

              • Submitted by Matt Haas on 10/28/2019 - 12:33 am.

                I don’t think it was meant as a course of action, more as pointing out the absurdity of the position by means of taking it to its extreme end…

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 10/26/2019 - 11:16 am.

      Actually, this was pretty much Trump’s lawyer’s argument before the Appeals Court this week! The judges, very calmly, I thought, pushed on the point, and the lawyer asserted violent crimes were included in Trump’s presidential immunity. And those of anyone associated with him.

      Incredible, or as one judge has already called it, “ridiculous.”

      Both C-Span and live-streamed the 50+-minute hearing.

  12. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 10/25/2019 - 01:32 pm.

    Trump has every right to make this claim of Presidential Immunity.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/25/2019 - 01:59 pm.

      Why do you say that? Please be specific.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/25/2019 - 02:18 pm.

      The First Amendment gives him (and us) the right to make all sorts of counterfactual and unsupported claims. That does not validate them.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/25/2019 - 03:12 pm.

      Then I would suggest that any claim that you have ever made about the “wrongdoings” of Democratic presidents is entirely without merit. They, too would be entirely above your mortal demands to “follow the law” or “obey the Constitution”.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 10/25/2019 - 07:25 pm.

      Thank you RG for proving my point!

    • Submitted by ian wade on 10/26/2019 - 03:03 pm.

      Why do I feel you would have a much different take if Obama was still the President.?

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/28/2019 - 11:18 am.

        Bear in mind that there are many who would tell you that Obama was never really the President, because he is not a natural-born citizen.

        So the situation here is entirely different.

  13. Submitted by Robert Lilly on 10/28/2019 - 10:13 am.

    Surprised no one is talking about this little nugget…
    “Consovoy said in court Wednesday that the president objects to the entire subpoena, not just the request for Trump’s tax records, because the company is “wholly owned by the president and they do hold his personal records.””
    We knew that whole divestment show was a total sham but now they are admitting in court that the President still owns his business and forcing the government to spend tax dollars there.
    Republicans have no shame.

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 10/28/2019 - 02:42 pm.

      Actually no. The firm subpoenaed is an unaffiliated “third party” and not owned at all by the Trump Organization. They are Trump’s accountants in a firm not owned by him.

      That’s the whole travesty of this: His lawyers assert that ANYONE even remotely associated with Donald Trump is supposed to be immune from our laws that say legal subpoenas must be obeyed.

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