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Napolitano: The Department of Justice Says Trump Can Be Indicted


A Thursday morning segment on Fox & Friends went a little off the rails as the dogged conservative anchors tried their best to have network regular Judge Andrew Napolitano buy into Rudy Giuiliani‘s latest statements about the Russia probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller. He didn’t.

Starting off the segment, host Abby Huntsman asked, “So, what do you make of probably the biggest news from yesterday? Coming from Giuliani and Trump’s legal team that he will not be indicted?” To which Napolitano replied:

I don’t know what Bob Mueller told Rudy Giuliani, but there are actually two memos in the DOJ. One says the president can be indicted, the other says the president cannot be indicted.

Napolitano continued, “And when Bill Clinton pleaded guilty to lying under oath, they waved in front of him an indictment, saying, ‘Do you want us to bring this to a grand jury?’ He said, ‘No, I’ll plead to an information.’ An information looks like an indictment but it doesn’t involve the grand jury. And it means the defendant agreed to it.”

The former judge then noted that Mike Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Alex van der Zwaan all agreed to plea to informations against them when they were charged for various crimes by Mueller’s team. Napolitano then added, “Can they do that with the president? They did it with Bill Clinton.”

Host Steve Doocy then aimed for a silver lining. He said, “Well, and Giuliani said the Mueller team said, longstanding Department of Justice guidelines say you cannot indict a sitting president. He has to be impeached first and that’s a political decision by the House of representatives.”

Napolitano interjected to clarify Doocy’s attempt. He said, “Correct. Correct that it is a political decision by the House. Right now the House is controlled by Republicans. That may stay the same after November or it may change. But there is another DOJ memo–as I mentioned to you. They’re both circa Clinton, they’re both late nineties. Which says, the president can be indicted but not prosecuted until after he leaves office. You might have to indict him to stop the running of the statute of limitations.”

Next, host Brian Kilmeade made his own bid for some pro-Trump or, rather, anti-Mueller analysis from Napolitano by suggesting that “public pressure” from Trump’s team might be able to hasten the end of Mueller’s “endless” investigation. Napolitano emphatically shut the door on that line of thinking. He said:

I profoundly disagree … prosecutors can really make your life miserable. I would. I would argue with them in private. I would show them what evidence we have in private. I would challenge their evidence in private. But I wouldn’t challenge them in public because you’ve got to be careful what you ask for.

Kilmeade, for some reason, just repeated his assertion about the public being able to “stop this thing.” Napolitano stopped him there. He said, “These guys don’t care. Their job is to do the right thing, no matter what the public thinks.”

[image via screengrab/Fox News]

Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher

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