Fox News Judge Says 'Proof' in Trump Impeachment Inquiry Is 'Undisputed,' Despite President's 'Hoax' Claims

Fox News' Judge Andrew Napolitano said that the proof of President Donald Trump's potentially impeachable offenses is largely undisputed and that congressional Republicans have no credible line of defense to protect him.

Napolitano reflected on the ongoing impeachment probe in an editorial published by Fox News on Thursday. The judicial analyst warned Republicans to be "careful what they ask for" going forward because of the overwhelming evidence against the president.

"Their defense of the president has addressed process, not proof," Napolitano wrote. "The proof is largely undisputed, except by the president himself. It consists of admissions, testimony and documents, which show that Trump sought to induce the government of Ukraine to become involved in the 2020 presidential election."

He added that it's a "mouthful of facts to swallow in one bite, but the legal implications are straightforward and profound."

House Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry at the end of September following reports that Trump tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his possible opponent in 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden. In the month since the probe began, House investigators have interviewed several witnesses behind closed doors.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to formalize the impeachment inquiry against Trump. The resolution, which detailed how public hearings will be conducted and how evidence will be gathered, was passed in the 232-196 vote.

Before Thursday's vote, Trump asserted that the "Impeachment Hoax" was hurting the stock market. Then, just after the resolution was passed, Trump complained on Twitter that it was the "Greatest Witch Hunt in American History." White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement also attacking the probe, calling it an "unhinged obsession" of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic Party.

Republicans have repeatedly slammed Democrats over how they've handled the impeachment probe, arguing that the process has been unfair and conducted in secret. The GOP response to the resolution was equally as critical. Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio claimed that "trying to put a ribbon on a sham process doesn't make it any less of a sham." Representative Liz Cheney said that history would judge Democrats over this inquiry.

Napolitano wrote in his op-ed that the "reason Republicans have been attacking the process of impeachment is largely because there is no credible defense to the proof of impeachment. That proof has been hiding in plain sight—in the president's public words and the context to be provided by witnesses—and will soon be revealed."

andrew napolitano fox news op-ed impeachment
Andrew Napolitano, senior judicial analyst for the Fox News Channel, testifies during a Federal Spending Oversight And Emergency Management Subcommittee hearing on June 6, 2018. Napolitano wrote in a Fox News op-ed that there is no "credible defense to the proof of impeachment" against President Donald Trump. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty

Napolitano had previously defended House Democrats and their approach to the impeachment probe during an appearance on Fox & Friends on Thursday morning.

"Congressman Schiff is, in my opinion, following the rules of the House of Representatives. You generate the information in secret. You decide which you want to make public. You can't use anything against the president that hasn't been challenged and aired in public," Napolitano said.

The judge added that the rules for these investigations were written in 2015 when the GOP controlled Congress, and now "it has come back to haunt the Republicans."

Despite the attacks on the inquiry from Trump and his GOP allies, polling shows public support for removing the president from office is growing. A Quinnipiac University poll released October 23 showed that 55 percent of registered voters approved of the inquiry, up 4 percentage points from the week before. In fact, surveys show that public support for Trump's removal is happening at a much faster rate than what occurred when President Richard Nixon was facing impeachment.