In the Supreme Court ruling on whether a New York prosecutor can obtain the President's financial documents, all nine justices say that the President does not have absolute immunity from a subpoena, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin explains. But here’s why it might take time to get the documents anyway.
“The idea that the President can't be subpoenaed is completely rejected by the Supreme Court, and that even the two dissenting justices agree on,” CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin explains. “All nine also agree that the case should go back to the district court. The practical victory for the President is that the legal proceedings will continue.”
“It seems unlikely given this opinion that the President will ultimately be able to stop the disclosure of these events to the grand jury in Manhattan, but it's going to take time,” Toobin adds.
Here’s what will happen now
Toobin: “This process will begin again. The district court will get briefings. They may hear evidence. That will be appealed to the second circuit court of appeals. And then the losing party will likely go back to the Supreme Court. All of this will take a while.”
Why will this have to go back?
Toobin: “Chief Justice Roberts' opinion says that like any other defendant, [President Trump] can go in the district court and say, ‘this is harassment. It is overbroad.’ They can't make the same arguments that they made in this case, but there are arguments that any defendant can make to try to stop a subpoena. They usually don't work, but they are arguments that are raised in court.”
A note on time:
“Federal courts don't work overnight,” Toobin says. “Here we are in the middle of July, the election is in November. It seems to be very unlikely that the actual documents will be turned over to the grand jury before November.”
Final note from Toobin: “There is no requirement or even permission for public disclosure of these documents at any point.”