A legal expert for Fox News is speaking out against what he sees as efforts by congressional Republicans to intimidate witnesses connected to the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump.
Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge turned conservative pundit and legal analyst, released a Judge Napolitano’s Chambers video this week in which he claimed that Republicans have avoided making arguments about the actual allegations against Trump, instead going after witnesses. Napolitano said that Republicans have not challenged the admission from Trump that he pushed the Ukrainian president to investigate political foe Joe Biden, nor have they spoken out against his alleged attempts to hold up $400 million in military aid to Ukraine as a perceived pressure move.
“The question is, does that behavior on part of the president constitute an impeachable offense?” Napolitano said. “The Republicans’ best objective would be to argue it doesn’t. Instead, their arguments are to smear the witnesses being interrogated in secret and to smear the process.”
Napolitano went on to say that it is standard procedure in a criminal investigation to hold witness questioning in secret so that they are able to speak candidly. He added that House rules prohibit the president from being impeached based on any secret evidence, noting that all evidence will become public. On Thursday, the House voted to formalize the impeachment process and to set rules for public hearings to be held. Said hearings will likely take place in the coming weeks.
Andrew Napolitano has never shied away from calling out Republicans and Donald Trump, sometimes to the consternation of fellow Fox News personalities. Earlier this month, he pushed back against claims from both Republican members of Congress and Fox News hosts that Democrats were breaking rules in the way they were handling the impeachment inquiry, shutting Republicans out of the process.
As Napolitano pointed out during an appearance on Fox & Friends, the Democrats were sticking to the rules that congressional Republicans had actually put in place while they were investigating Hillary Clinton and seeking more power for congressional committees.
“As frustrating as it may be to have these hearings going on behind closed doors… they are consistent with the rules,” the Fox News pundit said, per Newsweek. “When were the rules written last? In January of 2015. And who signed them? John Boehner [then Republican speaker of the House]. And who enacted them? A Republican majority.”