Andrew Napolitano is an interesting character. He’s managed to carve out a niche for himself on Fox News as a judge turned legal anaylst, mainly making his hay on the daytime shows. Admittedly, that’s likely largely because his opinions don’t really fit in with the prime time lineup anymore. He was a favorite on Shep Smith’s program, always telling the anchor exactly what he wanted to hear, which seemed to always include some form of “Trump is in big trouble.”
Napolitano has been giving anti-Trump hot takes going back to the Mueller investigation, so it was no surprise that he’d say this last week.
Judge Andrew Napolitano Slams Trump: He ‘Wanted Dirt On Biden’ https://t.co/7mDIStQsMz
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 14, 2019
“Everybody does have their own opinion. But, if you look at the big picture, there doesn’t seem to be any dispute but that the president wanted dirt on Biden and the president was willing to hold up military aid in order to get it,” Napolitano said.
As I’ve laid out numerous times, nothing in those testimonies actually proved that. You’d think a well-worn mind like Napolitano’s could distinguish between assumption gathered via hearsay and actual proof that something happened. In this case, we’ve yet to see the direct link between aid and the investigations made. It may appear that way to some, but the dots haven’t actually been connected and they need to be before you remove a President. Some, like Bill Taylor, say they presumed they were tied together, but they also admit their presumptions were based on media reports. Even Gordon Sondland, the one most directly dealing with Trump testified under oath that he had no idea why the aid was put on hold.
Napolitano is free to make whatever judgment he wants based on the hearsay being shared. What he doesn’t get to do is pretend that Trump must “dispute” things or prove a negative. Either Democrats have direct evidence or they don’t. If they don’t, this will die a quick death in the Senate.
The judge also said this.
Yet, as if to flaunt the Mueller findings, Trump apparently personally and directly committed the crime for which he claimed Mueller exonerated him.
What was that crime? It was the attempt to solicit foreign assistance for his campaign. It was the manipulation of American foreign and military policy for a corrupt purpose. A corrupt purpose puts the president personally above the needs of the nation.
For starters, “soliciting” foreign assistance is not a crime in and of itself. If it were, Hillary Clinton would be in jail right now for paying for the Steele dossier. Once again, we see the judge make vast assumptions about military aid being corruptly used with no actual evidence presented to prove that. He speaks is hyperbolic language, accusing Trump of committing a “crime” when that’s very much in doubt.
Napolitano is really good at hot takes. He’s much worse at backing them up.
And that’s really the issue. This guy has been wrong about nearly everything he’s said in the last four years. It’d be one thing if he had been spot on about the Hillary investigation or Mueller investigation. Instead, pretty much every prediction he’s made has crashed and burned.
Who can forget this greatest hit?
“There’s ample evidence — this doesn’t require too much analysis — to indict the president,” Napolitano told Fox News anchor Shepard Smith in December. “The question is, do they want to do it? The DOJ has three opinions on this. Two say you can’t indict a sitting president, one says you can, but all three address the problem of what do you do when the statute of limitations is about to expire. All three agree in that circumstance you indict in secret, keep the indictment sealed and release it the day they get out of office.”
“So he may already be an indicted coconspirator?” Smith asked.
“That I don’t know about, but it could be, because we don’t know what’s been sealed,” Napolitano replied.
Remember, this was prior to the release of the Mueller report. Napolitano is strictly speaking in terms of “collusion” and he not only said there was “ample evidence” to indict Trump, he thought he might already be secretly indicted. For what? Who the heck knows, because Mueller ultimately found the Russia collusion conspiracy theory to be bunk. But Napolitano was on Shep Smith’s show at least weekly preaching doom through much of the prior year.
Then he opined that Trump should be indicted for obstruction. Another swing and a miss.
“We learned from Mueller’s report to Barr that while there is evidence of members of the Trump campaign collaborating with the Russians, there is not enough evidence to establish a conspiracy,” Napolitano wrote. “We also learned that Trump personally engaged in 10 or 11 — depending on how you count them — efforts to interfere with Mueller’s investigation. Each of these attempts at interference constitutes the crime of obstruction of justice. That crime consists of any material attempt — whether successful or not — to impede a federal investigation for a corrupt purpose. So, a lawyer who files motions asking a judge to restrain FBI agents from violating the lawyer’s client’s constitutional rights is interfering with a federal investigation, but for a lawful — not a corrupt — purpose.”
Contrary to what he says there, no, Mueller did not find the Trump campaign “collaborated with the Russians.” It found some contacts throughout the campaign, but there was no collaboration carried out to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. The Trump Tower meeting, for example, was with third parties (working for Fusion GPS no less) and nothing came of it. Even Roger Stone’s latest conviction pushed against that narrative because he was convicted for lying about having a Wikileaks connection that didn’t actually exist.
Regardless, the idea that mean tweets constituted obstruction never added up because Trump never actually attempted to obstruct anything. Not only did Robert Mueller testify to that effect, even Andrew McCabe admitted Trump made no attempts to slow or stop the investigation into him. In the end, the DOJ found there was no case there and the Democrats also did not push the matter as a grounds for impeachment. That’s how weak that idea was.
Of course, when Mueller found that Trump could not be indicted, Napolitano was right there to say how wrong he was.
Following Robert Mueller’s statement on Wednesday that indicting President Trump was “not an option,” Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said the indictment of a sitting president is entirely legal.
When asked by “Fox & Friends” hosts on Thursday morning if a sitting president can be charged with a crime, Napolitano pointed to former President Clinton’s impeachment in 1999.
“Yes, we know that because Bill Clinton was charged with perjury,” Napolitano said, explaining that the 2000 Office of Legal Counsel opinion on the issue is “advisory, not mandatory.”
Apparently the judge doesn’t grasp the difference between the DOJ charging a President with a crime and impeachment, which is a purely political process. The OLC opinion he cites isn’t so much advisory as it is department policy. It could technically be changed, but certainly not unilaterally by Robert Mueller.
At some point, all of Napolitano’s opinions start to seem more like excuses to bash the President than actual legal analysis.
Napolitano also predicted that Donald Trump Jr. would be indicted.
When asked if he expects anyone in the president’s inner circle to be charged, Napolitano said, “Yes. I don’t know who, but I do know that Donald Jr. has told friends he expects to be indicted.”
“Do you expect he’d be indicted?” Abrams asked.
“Yes,” Napolitano said.
Wrong again, as Napolitano found himself in the company of such great predictive minds as John Brennan and Chris Matthews.
But forget Trump for a second, because his bad takes go back to Hillary Clinton as well. Who can forget his proclamations that indictments were coming in the email scandal?
So we know already the FBI is interacting with the Justice Department, the FBI has already made some recommendations to the Justice Department, the Justice Department has accepted those recommendations seriously, has convened a grand jury, and has begun or will soon begin to present evidence to the grand jury, and they need Mr. Pagliano’s testimony immunized, which means he no longer has the privilege against self-incrimination because they can’t use against him whatever he says. It also means — this is profound — they intend to indict someone. It’s not Bryan Pagliano; he can only be indicted if he commits perjury if he lies under oath. But, they intend to indict someone in this chain north of him.
That’s a big nope. In the end, no one was indicted in the Hillary email case, much less Clinton herself.
Allow me to reiterate what I said earlier. This guy has been wrong about literally everything he’s commented on in regards to high profile, political-legal cases in the last four years. I’m sure if I went back further, I could find more examples outside of Trump and Hillary as well. He continually falls into dramatic proclamations over factual analysis. His hatred of Donald Trump has only driven him further over the edge, where he’s whiffed again and again regarding the President.
The same thing is happening now with his statements on Ukraine. At what point does Fox News stop paying this guy to be wrong? I don’t know, but I do know that no one should be taking him seriously.
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