The Supreme Court yesterday affirmed the conclusion of both Judge Marrero and the Second Circuit (see our coverage here) that President Trump was not immune from a grand jury subpoena issued by the Manhattan District Attorney. Writing for a 7-2 majority, Chief Justice Roberts concluded that the immunity sought ran “against 200 years of precedent”:
The President . . . believes the district attorney is investigating him and his businesses . . . .[which] poses unique burdens on the President’s time and will generate a “considerable if not overwhelming degree of mental preoccupation.”
But the President is not seeking immunity from the diversion occasioned by the prospect of future criminal liability. Instead he concedes—consistent with the position of the Department of Justice—that state grand juries are free to investigate a sitting President with an eye toward charging him after the completion of his term.
The President’s objection therefore must be limited to the additional distraction caused by the subpoena itself. But that argument runs up against the 200 years of precedent establishing that Presidents, and their official communications, are subject to judicial process, even when the President is under investigation.
The case was remanded to Judge Marrero who, wasting no time, issued an Order today directing the parties “to jointly inform the Court by the morning of July 15, 2020 whether further proceedings will be necessary.”