Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano responded on Monday to comments made by Donald Trump‘s attorney Rudy Giuliani over the weekend, in which Giuliani suggested that fired FBI director James Comey “has a chance” of being prosecuted for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Napolitano said that contrary to what Giuliani is saying, it is unlikely that Comey will face criminal prosecution.
“I really don’t know what he means,” Napolitano began. He said that if Giuliani is talking about the possibility of Comey being prosecuted criminally for his decision to announce further examination of Clinton’s emails before the election then he doesn’t see a case.
“I have been Comey’s harshest critic, but I do not believe that judgment rose to the level of criminality,” he said. “[He] stated the wrong law, he gave the wrong reasons, he interfered in the election” but that this did not “rise to the level of criminality.”
In an interview, Giuliani cited DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz‘s draft of a report on Comey, particularly Comey being called “insubordinate.”
“I think the report of Horowitz, the [inspector general], and the Justice Department will confirm that Comey acted improperly with with regard to the Hillary Clinton investigation,” Giuliani said over the weekend. “The first thing we are going to get is a report from Inspector General Horowitz on Comey’s handling of Hillary, which I think is going to be very very critical of Comey, as it should be.”
“Comey, really, has a chance of being prosecuted as a result of, but we’ll see,” he added.
As Law&Crime previously reported, the alleged insubordination charge stems from Comey’s election-eve revelation to Congress that the FBI was reopening their investigation into the Clinton email server scandal. Many election observers have attributed Clinton’s loss in the 2016 contest to the release of Comey’s highly-publicized letter about said scandal and investigation.
Horowitz’s report is said to be wide-ranging and assails Comey’s behavior related to the Clinton investigation as “insubordinate” because the former FBI director was cautioned against publicly revealing the reopening of said probe by his higher-ups at the Department of Justice.
Before Comey sent that letter to Congress, at least one DOJ official told the FBI that publicizing the investigation would be a violation of two long-standing norms: (1) departmental policy related to the improper influence of electoral campaigns; and (2) federal guidelines which prohibit the disclosure of information related to an ongoing criminal investigation.
Horowitz is set to testify before the Judiciary Committee on June 18.
Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.
[Image via Fox News screengrab]