Napolitano Goes Full Schiff
The descent of Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano into foolishness continues with a series of TV appearances in which the former New York Superior Court judge adopts the Adam Schiff interpretation of the Constitution where you are not allowed to confront your accuser, where being a fact witness does not require you to recuse yourself from running a kangaroo court impeachment inquiry, and where hearsay and presumption determine you are guilty until proven innocent.
In the face of public hearings in which Schiff unloaded his clown car of hearsay witnesses who made every presumption about President Trump except for the presumption of innocence, Napolitano warmly embraced Schiff’s fables, telling Reason’s Nick Gillespie that there is more than enough, and he uses the word very loosely, "evidence" to justify three or four articles of impeachment against President Trump:
In an interview with Reason’s Nick Gillespie on Friday, Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano said there was “overwhelming” evidence of impeachable actions by President Donald Trump.
Napolitano said, “The Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have unearthed enough evidence, in my opinion, to justify about three or four articles of impeachment against the president. We have to start this conversation by underscoring the fact that impeachment is not legal, it is political. Its only Constitutional base is treason, bribery, or other hard crimes and misdemeanors.”
He continued, “Here’s what I think the Democrats will want, Nick. Here’s what I think they will advance. One is bribery. The technical definition of bribery is the failure to perform an official duty until a thing of value comes your way, and they will argue that the president’s failure to disperse [sic] funds that the Congress ordered be dispersed [sic] until the recipient of the funds agreed to investigate a potential political opponent is an act of bribery. That is enough, in my opinion, to make it over the threshold of impeachable offenses. I don’t think it’s enough to convict of bribery, but it’s enough to allege it for the purpose of impeachment. The second charge will be high crimes and misdemeanors -- election law violation. The third crime will be obstruction of justice. The fourth will be interference with the witness, and the fifth, maybe, lying under oath.”
He added, “The evidence of his impeachable behavior at this point, in my view, is overwhelming.”
Yet Napolitano, like Schiff, presents none. He ignores a verified transcript of the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomir Zelensky and the testimony of the two participants that there was no pressure, no quid pro quo and that aid was not withheld, only delayed, a delay the Ukrainians did not even know about until a month later. How can you bribe someone when they aren’t aware they are being bribed?
Hey, Judge, did you ever notice that the invasion of eastern Ukraine and the annexation of the Ukraine occurred during the Obama-Biden administration without a peep from either after Obama had promised the Russians more “flexibility” after his reelection? Did you notice that it was Obama who withheld lethal aid and that it was Trump who supplied Ukraine with Javelin anti-tank missiles after his election without pre-condition? Aid that was delayed for a mere 55 days while Trump assessed the new Ukrainian regime as well as the commitment of our allies. There were no meetings, investigations or anything else conditioned on this aid. Trump did not fail to disburse any funds.
In a rant on the November 12,, 2019 edition of his Fox Nation Show (video here) , "The Liberty File," Napolitano blamed Trump for virtually everything from original sin to the common cold, saying impeachment was more than justified and that the Democrats were right in saying he was undermining the Constitution and the rule of law:
On Friday’s broadcast of Fox Nation’s “Liberty File,” Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano questioned if President Donald Trump is unfit to serve in the White House.
Napolitano said, “In nearly three years in office, President Donald Trump has spent federal dollars not authorized by Congress, separated families and incarcerated children at the Texas-Mexico border in defiance of a federal court order, pulled 1,000 American troops out of Syria ignoring a commitment to allies and facilitating war against civilians there, and sent 2,000 American troops to Saudi Arabia without a congressional authorization or declaration of war.”
He continued, “He has also criminally obstructed a Department of Justice investigation of himself, but escaped prosecution because of the intercession of an attorney general more loyal to him than to the Constitution — the Constitution! At the outset of his presidency, Trump took the presidential oath of office, promising that he would faithfully execute his obligation to preserve protect and defend the Constitution. James Madison, the scrivener of the Constitution, insisted that the word faithfully be in the presidential oath and that the oath itself be in the Constitution to remind presidents to enforce laws and comply with constitutional Provisions whether they agree with them or not and to immunize the oath from congressional alteration. Recently, Trump referred to a clause in the Constitution as ‘phony,’ and he thereby implied that he need not abide it nor enforce it, notwithstanding his oath.”
This nonsense, this Adam Schiff-like fable, is what Napolitano has been peddling these days, unchallenged by virtually anybody at Fox News. When he appears as a Fox News guest contributor, he appears alone. He never appears with, say, Greg Jarrett, another Fox News legal analyst, or Fox News contributor Joe DeGenova, who said that Napolitano’s persistent anti-Trump analysis was “foolish,” or on Tucker Carlson’s show. As AP Media Writer David Bauder notes:
While he appears regularly on the "Fox & Friends" morning show, he's invisible on the prime-time opinion shows hosted by Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. Many of his commentaries appear online, taped on the plaza outside of Fox's Manhattan headquarters.
He is more likely to not be challenged by the likes of Steve Doocy than a Sean Hannity. Napolitano has been challenged by Harvard Law Professor Emeritis Alan Dershowitz, with whom Napolitano also does not appear. In an appearance on Fox News’ "Media Buzz" on June 2, 2019. Dershowitz essentially challenge Napolitano to a debate on Trump’s guilt or innocence. Napolitano has not accepted. Now that would be fair and balanced.
Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.