President Trump turned on Fox News personality Judge Andrew Napolitano after the legal analyst issued a sharp rebuke of the president’s actions outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report as “immoral, criminal, defenseless and condemnable.”
“Thank you to brilliant and highly respected attorney Alan Dershowitz for destroying the very dumb legal argument of ‘Judge’ Andrew Napolitano,” Trump tweeted Saturday night.
Dershowitz said on Fox News Saturday that he didn’t agree with Napolitano on whether Trump obstructed justice by interfering with the special counsel’s investigation. “It can’t be obstruction of justice if the president is acting within his authority,” he said when asked if Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey amounted to obstruction.
Trump blamed the former New Jersey Superior Court judge’s hostility on Trump’s refusal to nominate him to the U.S. Supreme Court, for which Napolitano was rumored to be on the shortlist at the start of Trump’s presidency.
“Ever since Andrew came to my office to ask that I appoint him to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I said NO, he has been very hostile! Also asked for pardon for his friend. A good ‘pal’ of low ratings Shepard Smith.”
Trump’s attack on his often-quoted Fox News judge, who was once his favorite personality on the network, came after Napolitano criticized the president’s actions listed in the Mueller report, which he argued rose to the level of obstruction of justice.
“When the president asked his then-White House counsel to get Mueller fired and then lie about it, that’s obstruction of justice. When he asked Don McGahn to go back to the special counsel and change his testimony, that’s obstruction of justice. When he dangled a pardon in front of [ex-attorney] Michael Cohen in order to keep Cohen from testifying, that’s obstruction of justice,” Napolitano said on his show last Wednesday.
“The president's job is to enforce federal law. If he had ordered its violation to save innocent life or preserve human freedom, he would have a moral defense,” Napolitano also wrote in an op-ed published Friday by Fox News. “But ordering obstruction to save himself from the consequences of his own behavior is unlawful, defenseless and condemnable.”
Before the special counsel’s investigation ended and found no conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Russia — and came to no conclusion on obstruction — Trump had looked to Fox News and Napolitano’s legal analysis as vindication. But those times might be changing.
FBI top lawyer confirms “unusual steps.” They relied on the Clinton Campaign’s Fake & Unverified “Dossier,” which is illegal. “That has corrupted them. That has enabled them to gather evidence by UNCONSTITUTIONAL MEANS, and that’s what they did to the President.” Judge Napolitano— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
“The most profound question of our era: Was there a conspiracy in the Obama Department of Justice and the FBI to prevent Donald Trump from becoming President of the U.S., and was Strzok at the core of the conspiracy?” Judge Andrew Napolitano— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2018
“It’s clear that they had eyes and ears all over the Trump Campaign” Judge Andrew Napolitano— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 23, 2018
“He’s got a very good point. Somebody in the Justice Department has a treasure trove of evidence of Mrs. Clinton’s criminality at her own hands, or through others, that ought to be investigated. I fully agree with the President on that.” @judgenapolitano on @marthamaccallum Show— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2018
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