Trump's Lawyer Argues President Can't Be Prosecuted for Shooting Someone on Fifth Avenue

President Trump's lawyer made the claim in a hearing about his tax returns

What to Know

  • President Trump's lawyers argued on Wednesday the president could not be prosecuted for shooting someone on 5th Avenue
  • The claim was in the context of a broader argument about the Manhattan district attorney seeking Trump's tax returns
  • Trump famously said on the campaign trail in 2016 that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any support

President Trump famously said during his campaign that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.

In court Wednesday, his lawyers argued that legally, he really could -- and no one could do a thing about it. 

The bold claim came up in a completely different context -- a hearing before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals about the Manhattan district attorney's efforts to subpoena the president's tax returns.

Trump's lawyer, William Consovoy, was answering questions about the limits of the presidency's legal protections for the officeholder, when one of the judges invoked the president's famous campaign claim

"What's your view on the Fifth Avenue example?" Judge Denny Chin asked. "Local authorities couldn't investigate, they couldn't do anything about it?"

Consovoy said the president's immunity wasn't permanent, so Chin clarified to ask if they could act while the president was in office.

"No," Consovoy said.

"Nothing could be done? That's your position?" Chin asked.

"That is correct, that is correct," Consovoy responded. 

The so-called Fifth Avenue example refers to a claim Trump made on the campaign trail in Iowa in early January 2016.

"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay, and I wouldn't lose any voters, okay?" he said. 

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