Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News’ senior judicial analyst, reiterated his belief that now-former Special Counsel Robert Mueller was wrong to abide by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel’s (OLC) guidelines against indicting a sitting president.
In his only public address since being appointed as special counsel, Mueller said that charging President Donald Trump with a crime “was not an option” due to that OLC opinion.
Judge Napolitano began his latest episode of Judge Napolitano’s Chambers Thursday by briefly summarizing the conclusions of the Mueller Report’s section pertaining to obstruction of justice.
“During the course of Mueller’s investigation, he came upon some roadblocks, and the roadblocks were put in place by the President of the United States,” he said. [T]he roadblocks are obstruction of justice.” Napolitano defined obstruction as “any attempt, successful or not, to interfere with a federal investigation for a corrupt purpose.”
Napolitano then said that “when the subject of an investigation tells the people who work for him to lie to the FBI .. so they will not find out what the subject doesn’t want them to know … as Mueller said Trump did between 10-11 times, that is obstruction of justice.”
The segment discussed previous cases against former Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton to illustrate that obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense. Napolitano then declared his belief that a sitting president can, indeed, be prosecuted.
“Here’s where I think Mueller dropped the ball,” he said. “Mueller says the president can’t be prosecuted because presidents can’t be prosecuted. Well, if presidents can’t be prosecuted, then they’re above the law. And we know, the basic principle of American jurisprudence is no one is above the law.”
“Surely an indictment could be had, and maybe they’re not going to actually prosecute the indictment until the president leaves office. But nobody can get away with that kind of lawbreaking,” he continued. Napolitano then commented that Mueller’s public statement “teed up impeachment.”
Napolitano has not been shy about criticizing President Trump. Last month, he told Fox News’ Stuart Varney that Trump would have been charged with obstruction of justice had he not been the president. He also recently claimed that Trump had violated constitutional principles of separation of power on multiple occasions.
[image via Fox News screengrab]