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Fox News Legal Analyst Says Trump's Ukraine Call Demonstrates 'Both Criminal and Impeachable Behavior'

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Fox News Legal Analyst Says Trump's Ukraine Call Demonstrates 'Both Criminal and Impeachable Behavior'
Spencer Platt/Getty Images; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In an oped created from Fox News, senior legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano minced no words about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. And in the accompanying video, he makes it clear that wishing the Constitutionally valid impeachment process away will not make it disappear.

According to Napolitano:

"The Constitution defines an impeachable offense as 'treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors'."

Judge Napolitano added:

"The President need not have committed a crime in order to be impeached, but he needs to have engaged in behavior that threatens the constitutional stability of the United States or the rule of law as we have come to know it."

From there, he described what action Trump already admitted to that appear to be impeachable and possibly criminal offenses.

  • the accuracy of the whistleblower's complaint
  • asking for dirt on Joe Biden
  • withholding aid to the Ukraine
  • asking a favor from the Ukrainian President while also discussing the withheld aid
  • accusing the whistleblower of treason for reporting his possibly illegal actions
  • threatening the whistleblower
  • encouraging violence against the whistleblower

In regards to the threats, Napolitano stated:

"The President’s allusions to violence are palpably dangerous. They will give cover to crazies who crave violence, as other intemperate words of his have done. His words have already produced offers of 'bounties' in return for outing and finding the whistleblower."

"Trump also suggested that his impeachment would produce a second American Civil War. This language is a dog whistle to the deranged."

Napolitano also outlined what possible crimes Trump committed.

"Federal law defines as criminal the solicitation of aid—anything of value—for a political campaign from a foreign national or foreign government, whether the thing of value arrives or not."


"Federal law also prohibits bribery and attempted bribery, which is defined as withholding the performance of an official duty conditioned upon the personal receipt of a thing of value, whether the thing of value arrives or not."
"The law further prohibits intimidating witnesses, which is defined as the use of language designed to deter witnesses from giving testimony, whether the intimidation is successful or not."

Some Trump supporters, however, were not interested.

Napolitano concluded by stating:

"For heaven's sake, Trump was just investigated by Mueller for two-and-a-half tumultuous years for allegedly bringing the Russian government into the 2016 election and now he has attempted in one phone call to bring the Ukrainian government into the 2020 election! Does he understand the laws he has sworn to uphold?"
"It was to remedy just such reckless, constitutionally destructive behavior that impeachment was intended."

Judge Napolitano is an author as well as legal analyst for Fox News. His book Dred Scott's Revenge: A Legal History of Race and Freedom in America is available here.