Fox News Channel’s senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano believes special counsel Robert Mueller found evidence of both conspiracy and obstruction of justice–just not enough for the prosecution to make it’s own case.
Asked to opine as to why some congressional Democrats–like House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)--aren’t falling in line with the narrative supplied by Attorney General William Barr‘s summary of the Mueller report, Napolitano said it was because those Trump critics would be somewhat vindicated when all of the evidence becomes public knowledge.
“We saw on Sunday, a four-page summary of a 700-page report,” Napolitano noted. “The 700-page report is a summary of 2 million pages of raw evidence. In the 700-page summary of the 2 million pages of raw evidence, there is undoubtedly some evidence of conspiracy and some evidence of obstruction of justice. Just not enough evidence, and thinking the way I think Congressman Schiff is thinking, according to Attorney General Barr, not enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard.”
Napolitano then said this somewhat tendentious legal standard shouldn’t have informed how Barr packaged his report summary.
“Prosecutors ethically cannot bring a charge unless they believe they can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt,” Napolitano explained. “So, once the 700 pages comes out, and this is my criticism of the attorney general, he shouldn’t have even tipped his hands on this. But once the 700 pages comes out, the Democrats will have–and other Trump opponents will have–a field day with what is in there.”
Why? Napolitano said there was evidence of both alleged crimes in the report:
If there were no evidence of conspiracy and no evidence of obstruction, the attorney general would have told us so. He didn’t. So, there is something in there that the Democrats and opponents of the president want to see. They will see it. And they’ll make hay out of it. And then they’ll second guess Bob Mueller as to whether or not it is enough evidence to meet the legal standard of proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Host Neil Cavuto then pushed back a bit with a searching question.
“But if Barr characterized it the way he did–I know he ran that by Rod Rosenstein–it would stand to reason that someone ran it by Mueller, right?” Cavuto asked. “Because Mueller, if he found that characterization offensive or just outright wrong, wouldn’t he have gotten out a clarifying statement?”
Napolitano replied, “Yes and no.”
“On the conspiracy charge, Mueller…Rosenstein and Barr are on the same page. There’s something there, but it’s not enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. On the obstruction charge, Mueller did what a lot prosecutors do, they kick it upstairs. ‘Let the boss decide this. The evidence is equivocal,'” he continued. “The boss, Bill Barr, decided we’re not prosecuting him. Whatever that evidence is, of obstruction, is what the president’s adversaries are going to have a field day with.”
[Image via screengrab/Fox News; video courtesy Contemptor/Fox News]