Fox News Judge Says Evidence for Impeachment 'Overwhelming'

Andrew Napolitano
Fox News senior legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano says evidence presented by Democrats against President Donald Trump in the impeachment inquiry is "overwhelming." Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty

Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano has claimed that evidence presented against President Donald Trump in the impeachment inquiry is "overwhelming."

Napolitano made the remarks during a video interview taped Thursday with Reason's Nick Gillespie, which was uploaded the following day to the libertarian media outlet's ReasonTV channel on YouTube. In the interview, Napolitano said Democrats had produced "overwhelming" evidence of Trump's "impeachable behavior."

"The Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have unearthed enough evidence, in my opinion, to justify about three or four articles of impeachment against the president," said Napolitano. "We have to start this conversation by underscoring the fact that impeachment is not legal, it is political. Its only constitutional base is treason, bribery, or other hard crimes and misdemeanors."

Napolitano added that the impeachment process House Democrats are engaging in is being done entirely within legal bounds, as congress is explicitly given the "sole power of impeachment" by the U.S. Constitution. The judge also said the constitution demands "each house to write its own rules," and Democrats are operating under rules written by Republicans, who drafted the rules when they controlled congress in 2015.

"Congressman Schiff, whether you like him or not, whether you agree with him or not, he's following rules that the Republicans authored four and a half years ago," Napolitano said.

Gillespie then asked the judge what he predicts will be included in the articles of impeachment, yet to be formally presented at the inquiry.

"Here's what I think they will advance. [Charge] one is bribery," said Napolitano. "The technical definition of bribery is the failure to perform an official duty until a thing of value comes your way, and they will argue that the president's failure to disperse funds that the Congress ordered be dispersed until the recipient of the funds agreed to investigate a potential political opponent is an act of bribery. That is enough, in my opinion, to make it over the threshold of impeachable offenses. I don't think it's enough to convict of bribery, but it's enough to allege it for the purpose of impeachment."

"The second charge will be high crimes and misdemeanors, election law violation," he continued. "The third crime will be obstruction of justice, the fourth will be interference with the witness and the fifth may be lying under oath."

The remainder of the interview covered constitutional issues, along with the political and legal history of impeachment and additional details of the Trump inquiry. The judge appears to believe many of the allegations against the president are credible but says he "can't imagine" Trump will be removed by Republicans in the senate despite overwhelming evidence.

Napolitano is a senior legal analyst for Fox News, having joined the network in 1998. Although Trump previously praised the judge, his opinion soured after being criticized by Napolitano, who called the president's behavior "criminal and impeachable" earlier in the year.