Does the president have immunity if he is sued for being contagious?

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President Donald J. Trump greets supporters during a drive by outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Bethesda, Md. Photo by Tia Dufour/Official White House Photo.

President Trump has COVID-19. He was hospitalized Friday, but he took a little joyride around Bethesda on Sunday and then on Monday, he checked himself out and returned to the White House. Why did the hospital let him leave, even if, as commander in chief, everyone at the military hospital ultimately takes orders from him? Could he be sued for recklessly exposing and possibly infecting others? What about White House employees, like Secret Service agents — could they make an OSHA complaint? Ken White says it would be an uphill battle trying to sue the president for the same reasons why it’s always hard to have a good chance when you sue the president. But, he says, because this is a new, bizarre situation and it could produce some new precedent.

Then: is HIPAA the new RICO? HIPAA is supposed to protect you from healthcare professionals exposing your medical information without your permission, and a lot of people who have been citing it as it relates to the president’s condition is, well, kinda citing it wrong. President Trump’s doctors have been briefing the public on some aspects of his condition while declining (citing HIPAA) to discuss other aspects. Does the law only apply to adverse information? 

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s ruling that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance could proceed with a subpoena for President Trump’s tax records from his accountants. They basically said the president’s argument about why the subpoena was too broad made no sense. The Supreme Court is the next place the issue can go: will they hear it? And when will we know if they’ll hear it?

Plus: Eric Trump’s deposition, John Bolton’s book money, Michael Cohen and Reality Winner, Michael Avenatti, Jacob Wohl and more.

Credits

Hosts:
Josh Barro, Ken White

Producer:
Sara Fay