Trump plans to appeal a ruling this week that ordered his accounting firm to comply with a grand jury subpoena to give his tax returns to prosecutors in New York. Napolitano said that appeal would go first to Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in an attempt to stay the decision, then possibly to the full Supreme Court.
“If the Supreme Court were to hear this, I think they would hear it on an emergency basis, meaning before Christmas,” he said. “They know how important this is.”
Napolitano also laid out the arguments why a Supreme Court ruling might not fill Trump with holiday cheer. First, the appeals court ruled against Trump’s argument that he was immune from criminal prosecution, because the case wasn’t a criminal prosecution. It’s an investigation into payments by the Trump Organization to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom said they had affairs with the president and were paid to keep quiet.
“No one is immune from the government investigating their behavior,” Napolitano said in a clip posted online by Raw Story.
The appeals court also ruled that the subpoena doesn’t place any burden on Trump as president because it’s not aimed at him. It’s directed at his accounting firm. The appeals court, Napolitano said, decided that the subpoena “doesn’t require him to do anything that might be disruptive of his job as president.”
See his full explanation ― and his prediction of the timeline ― below:
In a separate appearance on the network, Napolitano said that if New York prosecutors obtained Trump’s tax returns and found evidence of a crime, the courts would be in uncharted legal waters.
If District Attorney (Cy) Vance persuades a grand jury that Donald Trump ― the private citizen before he was president ― committed a crime and he should be indicted, then we’re in virgin territory ― that has never been resolved by any court whatsoever.