Following Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Wednesday statement on his office’s investigation into Russian election interference and more, Fox News’ senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano made an appearance on Fox Business Network and once again showed his willingness to criticize the President.
In an interview with Stuart Varney, Napolitano reiterated his previously stated conclusion that Mueller believed President Donald Trump had committed a crime and only did not indict him because of procedural restraints against indicting a sitting president.
“Effectively what Bob Mueller said is we had evidence that he committed a crime but we couldn’t charge him because he’s the president of the United States,” Napolitano said. “This is even stronger than the language in his report. This is also a parting shot at his soon-to-be former boss, the attorney general, because this statement is 180 degrees from the four-page statement that [Attorney General] Bill Barr issued at the time he first saw the report.”
Varney asked Napolitano if Mueller’s statement was bad for Trump or Barr.
“I think so,” Napolitano replied. “Basically he’s saying the president can’t be indicted, otherwise we would have indicted him and we’re not going to charge him with a crime because there’s no forum in which for him to refute the charges, but we could not say that he didn’t commit a crime, fill in the blank, because we believe he did.”
A couple of weeks ago, Napolitano accused the President of “abandoning the separation of powers Madison so carefully crafted.”
In his Wednesday statement, Mueller formally announced his resignation and the closure of the special counsel’s office before making clear that his office did not have the authority to charge a sitting president with any crimes. He did add that “if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not.”
The special counsel’s inability to indict the president is derived from two different memos (authored by the Office of Special Counsel investigating Nixon, and the Office of Independent Counsel investigating Clinton), which state that a sitting president cannot be indicted while still in office.
Mueller’s statement starkly contrasted with the messaging of the Trump Administration, which has repeatedly claimed that the report cleared the president of all wrongdoing (often using the words, “no collusion and no obstruction).
[Image via Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images]