Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano took a sharply critical view of President Trump after the release of the Mueller report on Thursday, saying that the evidence in the report “might be enough to prosecute” him and that even if not, there was abundant evidence that Trump has behaved in a less than presidential manner.
“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,” Napolitano said during a monologue on his Fox Nation series “Judge Napolitano’s Chambers.” “But it did show a venal, amoral, deceptive Donald Trump, instructing his aides to lie and willing to help them do so. That’s not good in the president of the United States.”
“On obstruction of justice … the president is not exactly cleared,” Napolitano continued, noting how the report detailed “eleven instances” of times Trump had attempted to impede the Special Counsel probe.
On Thursday, Attorney General William Barr released the full and complete Mueller report. In an earlier summary and press conference before the release, Barr was adamant that Trump’s behavior did not rise to the level of prosecution and that there had been no collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government.
“There was relentless speculation in the news media about the president’s personal culpability, yet as he said from the beginning, there was, in fact, no collusion,” Barr told reporters while also attempting to explain away some of the president’s behavior during the investigation. “There is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks.”
The report itself is unlikely to change any minds, with partisans on both sides using the more than 400 page document to reinforce their already pre-existing beliefs about the probe and its ultimate conclusions.
Though he works for Fox News — and was even reportedly considered for a spot on the Supreme Court — Judge Napolitano had taken a sharply critical view of Trump in recent months as the final Mueller report drew closer to completion.
Last December, Napolitano raised more than a few liberal eyebrows when he told Fox News anchor Shepard Smith that President Trump might have already been indicted in secret by Robert Mueller and that there was already “ample evidence” to do so.
“There’s ample evidence … to indict the president,” Napolitano said. “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.