Justice Kagan thumps Sekulow's 'immunity' claim in Trump tax case: 'The president isn't above the law'
Jay Sekulow speaks on Senate floor (ABC/screen grab)

Justice Elena Kagan told Trump attorney Jay Sekulow on Tuesday that presidents are not "above the law."


At a hearing to decide if President Donald Trump's financial records can be subpoenaed by the state of New York, Sekulow argued that the president is "temporarily immune" from all criminal prosecution.

Sekulow also claimed that it is a violation of the U.S. Constitution to pursue a criminal case against the president.

Kagan offered another point of view.

"You have said that a number of times and made the point which we have made that a president can't be treated just like an ordinary citizen," Kagan said. "But it's also true and indeed a fundamental precept of our Constitution order that the president isn't above the law."

The justice reminded Sekulow that the earliest U.S. presidents were threatened with subpoenas.

Kagan asked: "Why isn't the way to deal with these two things: that the president is special but that the president is just like an ordinary citizen in that he's subject to law is to say the president can make these usual objections that a subpoena recipient can make about harassment or about burden. And the courts, in reviewing those, of course should take seriously the president's objections and treat those with a certain kind of sensitivity and respect due to somebody who is a branch of government?"

Sekulow countered with the argument that hiring counsel to fight subpoenas "would raise a serious impact on the president's Article II functions." The attorney called on the court to "categorically" strike down the ability to subpoena the president.

Watch the video below from C-SPAN.