Judge Nap, the mendacious magistrate
I'm not a daytime watcher of Fox News, but as an always-on television is within earshot, I do tend to be a bit of a detached daytime listener. As such, I have been mystified by the one-eighty-degree turn of Fox legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano from being an ardent Trump-supporter to a constant critic of the president. It was one of those mysteries we must sometimes wait years for to get an explanation of what led to such a sudden, inexplicable political reversal. But thanks to that titan of tweeting, our nation's chief executive (Dems would prefer that to be Titanic), we now know what inspired this sudden onset of anti-Trump hostility from Judge Nap.
Following his hugely successful Wisconsin rally Saturday night, Donald Trump tweeted this:
....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.
Aha! Sorry, couldn't resist that — it's so seldom one gets to use aha, and for once, it actually applies. But seriously, folks (as a certain comedian used to say, who, by the way, like our president, could never get any respect, either), if true, Trump's tweet does certainly provide motive for Judge Nap's mysterious morphing from a Fox News fan of the president to a continually carping critic, without even a hint of explanation from the network. This is another example of how all these so-called "expert" observations we're continually fed by the media are far too dependent on the personal feelings and attitudes of the so-called experts rather than being objective and fact-based. Moreover, Trump's tweet shows the entire nation that Napolitano's goodwill, even his on-air legal opinions, can be bought — not exactly a quality most presidents would look for in a Supreme Court appointee, is it?
What is even more mystifying is this: whatever made Napolitano think he, an on-air legal "analyst" for Fox News Network, was of sufficient juristic eminence to be appointed to the highest court in the land? True, he was a New Jersey Superior Court judge, and that is a statewide bench, but it's an intermediate court, not the New Jersey Supreme Court, which service upon would have lent a bit more heft to Napolitano's national ambitions. You can bet the farm that had Trump made the appointment, the media would have immediately and endlessly denounced Judge Nap as judicially unqualified and appointed only due to his on-air support of Trump.
And for a top-level legal analyst, Judge Nap has to be politically tone-deaf to not realize what a field day the media would have with a Trump pardon for a friend of two Fox personalities. Those liberal headhunters would hang a cronyism-corruption charge around Trump's neck that would create a political stench worse than a long-dead albatross. Trump wisely recognized the hazard and declined to put himself in such jeopardy, correctly calculating that Nap going negative was the lesser of two bad options. Like so many of us, Trump has to be aware that far too many of Judge Nap's past on-air judicial prognostications have turned out to be decidedly wrong — pure crap from Nap.
Analyst, indeed — Fox News needs to replace this mendacious magistrate.
Update: Fox Business Network sends this response by Judge Nap on its "Mornings with Maria" program today (video here):
On the potential pardon he discussed with President Donald Trump:
“You know the pardon that he and I discussed is of a mutual friend of his and mine and he asked me to tell me what the person was convicted of and if I thought the conviction was just. I described what the person was convicted of. I described that it was just, the president used a very strong term to condemn the conviction and he said you know this person as well as I do, call this person up and tell him, tell this person he's going to be on the list of pardons that I will seriously consider. That was the extent of that conversation. Look, I thought the president's comments were brilliant. He wanted to divert attention from what Mueller had said about him and what I had commented about Mueller to his relationship with me, his relationship with me is not the story. He and I have been friends for 30 years and probably will be for the next 30 years.”
On President Donald Trump’s tweets about him:
“This is way you treat your friends, how do you treat your enemies? Oh boy.”
On whether he asked President Donald Trump to appoint him to the Supreme Court:
“No- he and I spoke for about three hours and two 90 minute meetings. This is when he was the president elect about the type of person that should replace Justice Scalia. And in the process of my describing that person and the person I was describing, was then Judge Neil Gorsuch, he looked to me and said sounds like you're describing yourself. I said no, no I'm not describing myself, I'm describing Neil Gorsuch because you have this list of people from which you want to choose and Judge Gorsuch is the person that I think most of your advisers are going to point to. This was early on in the process. So he said alright give me, give me a spiel as to why I should put you on. Who would turn that down. I gave him the spiel so to speak and somebody else in the room said you know that's pretty interesting, the Judge is a little long in the tooth to which the president said blank you to the person who said the judge is long in the tooth… I'm four years older than the Judge and I'm about to become president. It was that kind of a conversation.”