David Schultz, professor of law specializing in election law at the University of Minnesota Law School, called the attention of Political Misfits hosts Bob Schlehuber and Michelle Witte to Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion, which Schultz said detailed two things: “case law has clearly demonstrated that presidents don’t have absolute immunity and that they have to be accountable for subpoenas, even in criminal matters.”
Within the document, Roberts referenced the words of former Chief Justice John Marshall, who issued an 1807 decision declaring that the US president is not exempt from subpoenas.
“At common law the ‘single reservation’ to the duty to testify in response to a subpoena was ‘the case of the king,’ whose ‘dignity’ was seen as ‘incompatible’ with appearing ‘under the process of the court,’” Roberts wrote. “But, as Marshall explained, a king is born to power and can ‘do no wrong.’ … The President, by contrast, is ‘of the people’ and subject to the law.”
“When Bill Clinton was president of the United States, he had to honor subpoenas when he was being sued for sexual harassment,” Schultz noted, arguing that because of this history, the Thursday opinion did not come as a surprise to him.
He added that “having also taught Constitution law for many years, this decision hit all the cases that I thought one was going to hit, in terms of making the argument” against presidential immunity.
The US president’s Thursday tweets made it clear that he is not happy with the SCOTUS after the court ruled that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. may now see his financial records as part of grandy jury probe into Trump’s alleged payoffs to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
The Supreme Court sends case back to Lower Court, arguments to continue. This is all a political prosecution. I won the Mueller Witch Hunt, and others, and now I have to keep fighting in a politically corrupt New York. Not fair to this Presidency or Administration!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2020
Schultz went on to point out that Trump is also likely angry because “among the people who joined in the opinion were [Associate Justices Neil] Gorsuch and [Brett] Kavanaugh: his two appointees to the Supreme Court.”
“That must feel like a real stab in the back,” he declared.
While the public is not able to get all the details of the case due to the closed-door nature of grand jury proceedings, Schultz noted that in addition to looking into a potential violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, the prosecution is also going to be examining whether Trump committed tax fraud “or any other types of fraud” while he was still living in New York.