Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said on Friday that there “might be enough” evidence in the Mueller report to prosecute Donald Trump for obstruction of justice, The Wrap reports. Even if there isn’t enough evidence in the report, he says, there’s plenty of content that betrays behavior unbecoming of a president.
During his opening monologue on his show Judge Napolitano’s Chambers, the former judge stated that he believed that the Mueller report — released in redacted form to the public on Thursday, weeks after a four-page summary had been released — was clear that he thinks the report contains plenty of evidence that the president committed obstruction of justice.
“Depending on how you look at them, there might be enough to prosecute, but the attorney general has decided it’s not enough to prosecute.”
In the report, Mueller himself wrote that he decided not to say — one way or the other — whether or not Trump committed obstruction of justice. The report noted specifically that the findings do not exonerate the president in this regard. Napolitano, however, says that the report showed 11 instances of Trump trying to obstruct justice.
“On obstruction of justice… the president is not exactly cleared.”
Specifically, Napolitano says, the report claims that Trump instructed his subordinates to lie in order to impede the Russia investigation, and that he allegedly promised to promote their lies with them.
Even if the report did detail enough evidence to criminally prosecute Trump, however, the question remains unanswered as to whether or not a sitting president can be criminally indicted. As Reuters reported in February, current Department of Justice policy says that a sitting president cannot be indicted — meaning that a criminal indictment of Donald Trump is “unlikely.”
Alleged criminal activity aside, Napolitano says that there’s plenty in the Mueller report that points to Trump behaving in a way that is far from presidential.
“It did show a venal, amoral, deceptive Donald Trump… That’s not good in the president of the United States.”
Thursday’s release of the redacted Mueller report is far from the end of the matter. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler has issued a subpoena for the full, unredacted report, as NBC News details. However, that subpoena will almost certainly be challenged in court by the Trump administration, and the battle could play out over weeks and months.
In the 24 hours or so since the release of the Mueller report, the response has largely broken on partisan lines. Trump and his supporters claim that it fully exonerates the president, while his adversaries maintain that it contains damning information about him and his presidency — and that further action is warranted.