White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday argued the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s criminal subpoena for President Trump tax returns is a “win” for the President.
On Thursday morning, the Supreme Court ruled in a striking 7-2 decision to back the subpoena issued by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for the President’s financial records as part of a wide-ranging probe into the Trump organization. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, who were nominated by Trump, sided with the majority.
When asked during a White House briefing Thursday afternoon about how he feels about Gorsuch and Kavanaugh following the ruling, McEnany first replied that “the justices are entitled to their opinion” before explaining why the White House believes it’s a “win” for the President.
“But as for the decision, President Trump underscored to me — I was just in the Oval Office with him — that it was Justice Kavanaugh who pointed out in the New York state court case that there was unanimous agreement that this should be remanded to the district court where the President may raise constitutional and legal arguments,” McEnany said. “That was a unanimous agreement.”
McEnany then pointed to a note in Roberts’ opinion saying that prosecutors are barred from “arbitrary fishing expeditions” as well as “initiating investigations out of malice or intent to harass.”
“That language made it pretty clear that this is a win for the President,” McEnany said, before claiming that she and the President didn’t talk specifically about either justices during their meeting in the Oval Office.
McEnany went on to double down on this argument later in the briefing when asked about the President’s Twitter screed shortly after the Supreme Court ruling came down.
The White House press secretary insisted that Trump feels that the Supreme Court should have done more to support his argument regarding “absolute immunity” for investigations of a sitting president.
“The President was making general points about deference, on the principle of absolute immunity, which is the posture that the President took in court,” McEnany said. “You know, he believes there should have been more deference there.”
McEnany reiterated that the ruling was a “big win” given Justice Kavanaugh’s note that “all nine justices said this needs to be remanded back to the lower court.”
In a statement later Thursday, McEnany wrote that the President is “gratified” by the Supreme Court’s rulings, saying that “further proceedings are required in the lower court in which the President can raise additional arguments, including constitutional protections, against this frivolous and politically motivated subpoena.”
Watch McEnany’s remarks below:
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says Supreme Court rulings on Trump tax records "was a win for the President." pic.twitter.com/vOFdLtS56d
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 9, 2020