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Trump wouldn't face criminal charges even if he shot someone, his lawyers argue

Alex Woodward
Trump rallying in Iowa on January 12: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal appeals court panel appears likely to reject claims made by attorneys from President Donald Trump that the president doesn't need to turn his tax records over to a state grand jury.

Mr Trump's attorneys suggested that Mr Trump is immune from local authorities pursuing a criminal indictment while he's in office, even if he had shot someone, echoing Mr Trump's campaign trail claim that he could "stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn't lose any voters."

Mr Trump's attorney William Consovoy said Mr Trump would have to be impeached first before he faces those charges.

Lawyers made the claim while arguing against a suit from Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who has subpoenaed eight years' worth of Mr Trump's financial documents as part of a wide-ranging inquiry into his finances, including whether Mr Trump had bought the silence of two women who claimed to have an affair with the president.

That includes payments made to porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy centrefold Karen McDougal, both of whom spoke publicly about their affairs with Mr Trump.

Earlier this month, Mr Trump had appealed a lower-court decision that rejected the president's challenge to the subpoena from Mr Vance's office.

The three-judge panel at the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday expressed their doubts over arguments presented by Mr Consovoy, and the suit is poised to head to the US Supreme Court pending the judge's decision and whether Mr Trump intends to appeal again.

After an hour of arguments, Chief Judge Robert Katzmann told lawyers that they "may be seeing each other again in Washington."

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