It is rare for legal analysts to garner personal attacks from politicians but President Donald Trump went after Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano this weekend in surprising tweets accusing him of a personal vendetta. Napolitano has been critical of Trump recently and the President insisted that he is retaliating after asking Trump to nominate him for the Supreme Court and to pardon a close friend. I have known Napolitano for years and I have always respected his professionalism and integrity. I have no reason to believe that his analysis is the result of anything other than honest appraisals of the case for prosecution or impeachment of the President.
Recently, Napolitano stated
“If [Trump] had ordered his aides to violate federal law to save a human life or to preserve human freedom, he would at least have a moral defense to his behavior. But ordering them to break federal law to save him from the consequences of his own behavior that is immoral, that is criminal, that is defenseless, and that is condemnable.”
In a Saturday tweet, Trump said that Napolitano became “very hostile” after asking Trump to put him on the Supreme Court. Trump tweeted
“Thank you to brilliant and highly respected attorney Alan Dershowitz for destroying the very dumb legal argument of ‘Judge’ Andrew Napolitano. Ever since Andrew came to my office to ask that I appoint him to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I said NO, he has been very hostile! Also asked for pardon for his friend. A good ‘pal’ of low ratings Shepard Smith.”
It is not clear what person Trump is referencing on the pardon, though Napolitano should address that allegation. However, Napolitano reportedly told friends that Trump had him on the short list for a Supreme Court appointment.
Again, I fail to see why Napolitano’s analysis warrants such an attack on his professional integrity and veracity. He is not the type of person to have personal animus warp his legal analysis even if such animus existed. What I do not understand why the President must seek to destroy the reputation of those who disagree with his actions or view those actions as the basis for possible liability.
Napolitano and I do not always agree but I have never known him to offer analysis about of bias or animus. His recent views are no exception to that well-earned reputation as a legal analyst.