On Thursday, Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano discussed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s press conference and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump, Law & Crime reports.
Mueller, who had spent more than two years investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, found no Trump-Russia conspiracy, stopping short of accusing the president of obstruction of justice. As he explained during an impromptu press conference held last week, the special counsel’s office respects the Justice Department’s guidelines, which state that no sitting president can be indicted.
Mueller chose not to prosecute Trump, despite laying out in his report 11 instances of possible obstruction of justice by the commander-in-chief. During the press briefing, the special counsel discussed the issue, suggesting that the ball is now in Congress’ court, and all but calling for impeachment.
According to Napolitano, Trump obstructed justice, and he should have been indicted for the crime.
“During the course of Mueller’s investigation, he came upon some roadblocks, and the roadblocks were put in place by the President of the United States,” Napolitano said, defining obstruction as “any attempt, successful or not, to interfere with a federal investigation for a corrupt purpose.”
The legal analyst then went on to explain that it is clear from the Mueller report that Trump had attempted to obstruct justice at least 11 times, going as far as directing subordinates to lie to the FBI. He compared the case against Trump to cases against Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon, concluding that obstruction of justice is indeed an impeachable offense.
Not only is obstruction of justice an impeachable offense, presidents — even sitting presidents — should be prosecuted for committing it, according to Napolitano. By choosing to not prosecute Trump, Mueller “dropped the ball,” violating “the basic principle of American jurisprudence” that is no one is above the law.
“Mueller says the president can’t be prosecuted because presidents can’t be prosecuted. Well, if presidents can’t be prosecuted, then they’re above the law,” Napolitano said.
As Law & Crime notes, it is not unusual for Napolitano to openly criticize President Trump. It is perhaps unusual for Fox News — a conservative, Trump-supporting network that the president himself is an avid watcher of — to give space to such voices.
Barr and Mueller are wrong — Trump can be prosecuted while president: Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano https://t.co/AM16MnoUCM— Raw Story (@RawStory) June 6, 2019
The legal analyst has long claimed that Trump is obstructing justice, accusing the president of violating the Constitution.
As Newsweek reported, both Trump and his allies have taken aim at the judge, suggesting that he is biased and bitter. According to Trump, Napolitano “begged for a job,” and, once refused one, turned against the administration.