Judge Andrew Napolitano told Shepard Smith on Fox News on Tuesday that President Donald Trump had committed a crime in his conversation with the president of Ukraine about alleged corruption by Joe Biden’s son.
“It is a crime for the president to solicit aid for his campaign from a foreign government,” Napolitano said.
“That to which the president has admitted is, in and of itself, a crime,” Smith responded. “Yes,” the judge replied.
It sounded rather damning — except that Smith and Napolitano do not seem to have considered that there might be independent justification for re-opening an inquiry that Biden had ordered closed (with the threat of losing U.S. aid).
Moreover, Napolitano has said many times before that Trump has committed crimes — and he has been wrong:
1. December 2018: Napolitano claimed that Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, had implicated him in a “felony.” (The Southern District of New York investigated and declined to initiate any further prosecutions.)
2. January 2019: Napolitano told Shepard Smith that Mueller would be able to show “collusion” and “conspiracy” because “the campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence.” The Mueller report found no collusion.
3. February 2019: Napolitano claimed that a phone call by the president to Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was “obstruction of justice.” Mueller’s report, released a month later, did not allege any obstruction.
4. April 2019: Napolitano went on an extended rant claiming that Trump had obstructed justice many times — claiming, falsely, that Trump had ordered his aides “to break federal law.” Napolitano called President Trump’s conduct “immoral … criminal … defenseless … [and] condemnable.” In fact, Trump complied fully with Mueller.
Fox News’ Judge Napolitano all day long on Trump’s numerous crimes. pic.twitter.com/2l56RNWnfz
— Arizona Political 💎 (@AZVotes) April 26, 2019
5. May 2019: Napolitano claimed that Mueller’s press conference meant that he believed Trump committed crimes and would have charged him if he were allowed to. Mueller clarified in July that that was not, in fact, the reason.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.