Here is a surprise: Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano says that President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is wrong when he claims that the Special Counsel cannot indict President Trump.
Giuliani this morning on CNN said that Robert Mueller told him he can’t indict a sitting president if there is strong evidence of a serious crime because of a ruling by the U.S. Justice Department.
Napolitano said on Fox Business today there actually are two Justice Department “memoranda.”
“One says yes, the other says no,” explains Napolitano. “One says you cannot indict the president while sitting. If you have evidence of crimes,, send it to the House of Representatives. That’s circa 1999.”
That was written in reference to President Clinton at the time.
“You have one written a year before,” adds Napolitano, “by the same legal team that says, ‘yes, you can do it'”
A sitting president also can be served a subpoena to testify before a grand jury, continues Napolitano.
“I respectfully would invite Mayor Giuliani’s attention to the Supreme Court opinion of the U.S. vs Richard Nixon,” says the judge, “which upholds – upholds – the authority of the Justice Department to subpoena the president of the United States.”
“Look,” continues Napolitano, “the President of the United States is not above the law. He can be indicted like anybody else.”
“How do we know that?” explains Napolitano. “Because (Whitewater independent special counsel) Ken Starr waved a sample indictment in front of Bill Clinton and said ‘We’re going to present this to the grand jury.'”
“And instead of that, Bill Clinton pleaded guilty to an information,” says Napolitano. “An information is basically an indictment to which the defendant agrees, therefore you bypass the grand jury.”
That is the same thing that happened recently with Michael Flynn, George Papadoupolous and others who pleaded guilty to charges brought by Mueller.
“I don’t know what Bob Mueller said to the Mayor,” adds Napolitano. “I give the Mayor the benefit of the doubt but the law is there. The president can be indicted and the president can be subpoenaed and I suggest to you the Mayor knows that.”
The Special Counsel’s options, adds Napolitano, are to indict immediately, refer a potential penalty to the House or to indict now but hold off on actually enforcing and prosecuting until the current sitting president is out of office.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 17, 2018
Napolitano says it is also not credible for the president to say that the Russians did nothing wrong during the 2016 election after the Senate Intelligence report this past week found that the Russians did act to influence the election for Trump, even if Trump was not actively participating with them.
The Senate report conflicts with an earlier House Intelligence committee report was written by Republicans that declared there was no Russian interference in the election despite vocal protests from Democrats.
Napolitano points out that the final proof that the House committee got it wrong is that Mueller has already indicted 13 Russians for their role in the interference and then the White House put all 13 on a sanction list penalizing them for those actions.
So clearly the White House agrees that the Russians acted improperly.
Napolitano’s knowledge and opinions come as a surprise simply because he is a regular on Fox Business and often seen and heard on Fox News, where everyone seems to bend backward to excuse Trump from guilt for any of the Russian interference.
It is also interesting that this former judge is providing points of law that Mueller and Giuliani seem to have missed which go along with the proper view that no American, including the president, is above the law – no matter how many times Trump denies it.
What it means is that no matter how much Trump, Giuliani, and the president’s other lawyers want Mueller to end his probe there is still much to be discovered, learned and explains in order to provide the American people with the truth – no matter who it hurts.