By Jon Dougherty
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham on Monday night smacked down Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano over the latter’s claim that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report implicates POTUS Donald Trump in “obstructing justice” regarding the Russian collusion investigation.
Last week, Napolitano said that his reading of the report gave him the impression that there could be enough there to prosecute the president.
“Depending upon how you look at them, it might be enough to prosecute,” Napolitano said on his series “Judge Napolitano’s Chambers,” The Hill reported.
“But it did show a venal, amoral, deceptive Donald Trump, instructing his aides to lie and willing to help them do so. That’s not good in the president of the United States,” he added.
“On obstruction of justice … the president is not exactly cleared,” he also said, highlighting nearly a dozen instances of potential obstruction detailed in the report.
The president immediately pushed back against Napolitano.
“Thank you to brilliant and highly respected attorney Alan Dershowitz for destroying the very dumb legal argument of ‘Judge’ Andrew Napolitano,” POTUS wrote in first of two tweets.
“….Ever since Andrew came to my office to ask that I appoint him to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I said NO, he has been very hostile! Also asked for pardon for his friend. A good “pal” of low ratings Shepard Smith,” he added.
….Ever since Andrew came to my office to ask that I appoint him to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I said NO, he has been very hostile! Also asked for pardon for his friend. A good “pal” of low ratings Shepard Smith.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2019
Napolitano would go on to dispute Trump’s claims regarding the Supreme Court appointment, but to the notion that he obstructed justice in the collusion probe, Graham, a South Carolina Republican, clearly laid out a case against it.
“I like Judge Napolitano, but he’s completely 100 percent wrong,” Graham told Fox News‘ Martha McCallum Monday.
“The obstruction of justice pertains to ‘colluding’ with the Russians, not firing [then-FBI Director James] Comey,” he continued. “The theory is that you fire Comey to stop the Russia investigation.
“What do we know after the Mueller report? There was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” Graham noted further. “There is no underlying crime.”
Graham’s essential point was that since the collusion narrative was a fabrication — part of a coup attempt, a hoax — POTUS could not have obstructed any resulting probe. Also, he noted that the president cooperated fully and never once moved against Mueller or his staff of Democrat donors.
“What do we also know? That the Trump administration gave the special counsel a million documents, allowed people to testify” including White House counsel Don McGhan (for 30 hours), “and never claimed executive privilege,” Graham said.
“To the Sally Yates’ of the world” — a reference to the one-time acting attorney general whom Trump fired early on after she refused to defend his first executive order banning immigration from terrorist-supporting countries — “this ridiculous notion to charge this president with obstructing justice where there was no underlying crime to obstruct, and he cooperated fully with the special counsel…and finally, name one event that Donald Trump engaged in that impeded the Mueller investigation.”
And there is this, lest we never forget: Mueller’s report was specifically written to give Democrats more red meat for a potential impeachment case.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10