Fox News was ready to declare “victory” for President Donald Trump on Thursday morning after the Supreme Court ruled by a 7-2 margin that he must turn over his tax returns to the Manhattan District Attorney. But then Judge Andrew Napolitano stepped in to say not so fast.
“It sounds like in a strange way that might lead to victory for the president because if it goes back to the lower courts it would seem that any further action would be postponed until after the election,” anchor Jon Scott said shortly after the ruling came down.
But Fox’s Senior Judicial Analyst had a different view. “It means that the president of the United States—President Trump and all of his successors and any of his predecessors for that matter—is not immune from criminal prosecution and is not immune from complying with the ordinary process,” Napolitano explained. Because of that, he argued, “This is a defeat for the president.”
He acknowledged that due to delays in proceedings, “ultimately this might not affect the election,” but he added, “it certainly will affect the president’s peace of mind” because he knows that eventually the case will move forward whether it’s before or after the election. “I would think this would be resolved before November,” Napolitano posited, noting that Trump’s accountants “say they have it and they are ready to turn it over.”
Contributor Chris Stirewalt agreed, saying, “The truth here is this is a big defeat for Trump,” noting that the court “rejected the entire premise” of the president’s defense in the case. “What the Supreme Court said in sending this back is unambiguous,” he added, “which is that Trump is going to see these things released to prosecutors and it’s not going to take that long because they’re ready to go.”
And yet all of this did little to sway Fox pundit and relentless Trump defender Katie Pavlich. “I think it’s a win and a little bit of a loss for President Trump,” she said, hedging her bets, “in the sense that now he will have to deal with a number of these issues.”