Trump Accuses Fox Legal Analyst of Personal Vendetta

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.

109 thoughts on “Trump Accuses Fox Legal Analyst of Personal Vendetta”

  1. On the few occasions I have listened to each of them on TV I have been disturbed by a number of Napolitano statements. I don’t like Nancy Grace. I think Judge Jeanne has heer head in the right place. i can’t comment on specific cases since I don’t watch her enough.

  2. “ 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.”
    Nappy went from booster to baiter after Trump turned him down for SCOTUS and wouldn’t pardon Shep Smith’s and Nappy’s pal. The injured ego is the works’s largest wounded animal. Make it a judge’s ego and increase that by several orders of magnitude. Make it “Look at Me, I’m on TV” Nappy and … you get the idea. think any competent trial lawyer could make a case for retaliation. We Italians know a thing or two about vendetta.

    1. “The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons conspired or coordinated with the IRA.”

      – Robert Mueller, Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election

      If no crime is committed, can a person be blamed for the crime that was not committed?

      If a person cannot be blamed for a crime that was not committed, can the person that cannot be blamed for the crime that was not committed be blamed for obstruction of justice in an investigation of a crime that was not committed by the person who did not commit it?

  3. “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.”

    – Lavrentiy Beria, Head of Joseph Stalin’s Secret Police

  4. I watched the entire Trump story at the NRA Conference and then again last night at the Wisconsin rally. He was really good and rallied his base and brought on others. Fox News showed all of both ventures. The other networks ignored it. The other networks showed the folks at the Whitehouse Correspondents gathering. And complained about Trump not showing up at that thing.
    I now think that Trump is on the way to winning in 2020. The more I see of Beto and that muslim congresswoman the more I leave my party –the Democrat Party. I voted for Hillary and regret it.

    1. I just saw a news show on CNN and they had a focus on Trump’s opposition to the killing of babies by mom and the doctor the day they are born. The CNN version is that this is a lie. If it does not happen then I guess we do not need a statute to prohibit such killings. Fake News not news that is fit to print.

      1. No babies born alive are killed. That is already against the law. That’s just another Faux News lie to reel in gullible Trumpsters like you.

        1. I guess you missed the stories about Kermit Gosnell.

          1. And Kermit Gosnell is in prison.

            “In May 2013, Gosnell was convicted of first degree murder in the deaths of three of the infants and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar. Gosnell was also convicted of 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortion, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. After his conviction, Gosnell waived his right to appeal in exchange for an agreement by prosecutors not to seek the death penalty. He was sentenced instead to life in prison without the possibility of parole.”


            Another anonymous poster

            (No one is hiding…, Ken. But you’re making unfounded assumptions.)

        2. You need to talk to our governor about that. Yep ol’ Ralph “ Mammy, I’m coming” Northam. He says it happens all the time with deformed babies.

        3. “Wisconsin governor promises veto if ‘born alive’ abortion bill advances”

        4. “Faux” News term is stale. A Dem Governor is on tape saying they will kill a baby if it accidentally survived an abortion. Get up to speed with the news and stop watching Fake News: CNN, MSNBC, and NBC. They spread lies like Trump will be indicted. “Faux news” has been proven to be the opposite.

        5. I am not a Trumpster. A toadstool maybe but not a Trumpster. My favorite President was Harry Truman. I like Obama. George W. is a good artist. Bill Clinton was a good Monicaust. Nixon was a Trick but not a Dick. I am all the way with LBJ and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Lincoln was the last Republican that I like. Maybe the only. The I like Ike thing was lame. The best campaign line: ” Don’t Change Dicks In The Middle of a Screw–Vote For Nixon in ’72” It worked. I did not vote for him.
          If Pence is to run in 2020 and Trump retires then Pence should have a sign: Mr. Pence–Build Up That Fence!

      2. No baby born alive is ever killed, because this is already against the law. It’s sucker bait for gullible Trumpsters, to get them riled up.

        1. “If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother,” Northam said in a WTOP interview.

          Northam is the Virginia Governor.

  5. In Naples, Italy there is a bar called Napolitaniano. Politicians go there to get drunk and get laid. The place has been there for a century. When some folks hit the U.S. immigration office in NY when they migrated over they did not want to use their real last names if they were mob related so they imposed names of towns and whatnot. So a Corleoni became a Podesta and a mobster named Bastardi became Napolitano. This comment is not to suggest that Napolitano is a bastard. But I watched an interview of him yesterday and he was loose as a goose and full of juice. If ya know what I mean jelly bean.

  6. If no crime is committed, can a person be blamed for the crime that was not committed?

    If a person cannot be blamed for a crime that was not committed, can the person that cannot be blamed for the crime that was not committed be found guilty of obstruction of justice in an investigation of a crime that was not committed by the person who did not commit it?

  7. Abraham Lincoln would have thrown Napolitano, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, PMSNBC, AP et al. in jail, having illegally suspended Habeas Corpus.

    President Trump is fully justified in seizing power and ruling through executive order and proclamation, precisely as Abraham Lincoln did, to “save the Republic” and restore the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution.

    Democrats deny the result of the 2016 election as an act of treason against the U.S. Constitution.

    Democrats invade America with massive numbers of foreign hyphenate “voters” to insidiously manipulate elections then deny the “electoral college” victory over their newly created “popular vote.”

    Congress is engaging in malicious prosecution, “legislative overreach” and egregious abuse of power causing a constitutional crisis.

    Democrats have cast America into a chaos and anarchy.

    The inmates have taken over the asylum.

    America has arrived at the same point where King Lincoln took over.

    1. The inmates have taken over the asylum. They are making crazy be for those who are lazy.

  8. What bothers me isn’t what the Judge believes or what he said. It’s the way this President responds to criticism, like he’s 12 years old. This has been the issue all along for me personally. . . He punches back like others have said time and time again. I’ve learned to ignore his behavior but every so often a tweet gets thru that hits me in the gut like this one did because it makes him look so foolish in my eyes.

    1. Personally, I want to know when one of these “pundits” has asked a favor. If Trump didn’t disclose it, who the heck would? If true, it’s certainly relevant to my evaluation of Napolitano’s opinions.

  9. Turley’s posting is light on the facts of the incident.

    A couple of background articles:

    “President Trump turned on Fox News personality Judge Andrew Napolitano after the legal analyst issued a sharp rebuke of the president’s actions outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report as “immoral, criminal, defenseless and condemnable.””

    Here’s Napolitano’s opinion piece:

    He wraps with this:

    “So, the dilemma for House Democrats now is whether to utilize Mueller’s evidence of obstruction for impeachment. They know from history that impeachment only succeeds if there is a broad, national, bipartisan consensus behind it, no matter the weight of the evidence or presence of sophisticated legal theories.

    “They might try to generate that consensus by parading Mueller’s witnesses to public hearings, as House Democrats did to Nixon. Yet, when House Republicans did that to Clinton, and then impeached him, they suffered politically.

    “The president’s job is to enforce federal law. If he had ordered its violation to save innocent life or preserve human freedom, he would have a moral defense. But ordering obstruction to save himself from the consequences of his own behavior is unlawful, defenseless and condemnable.”

  10. In a microcosm, this is why assessing intent and engaging in mind reading is such a tricky affair and an example of why Mueller’s novel theory of obstruction is flawed.

    I have to say that Napolitano’s fairly sudden and virtual 180 degree reversal on Trump related issues had me thinking that perhaps Napolitano wanted something from Trump and was declined. Clearly, this is speculation on my part but the following are the primary (but not exhaustive) pathways:

    1) Either Napolitano asked for something from Trump (or had a dispute/unfavorable interaction etc.)….or not
    2) If not, then Napolitano’s commentary is likely without bias
    3) If so, then Napolitano comments a) could still be without bias, as Turley suggests, as Napolitano could still come to a unbiased set of conclusions by being able to set aside any possible bias/animus or b) Napolitano’s commentary could have been influenced by his interactions with Trump and thus be biased.

    Granted, Turley has some insight into Napolitano but the point in all this is that human intent and motivation are notoriously complex and difficult to discern. Simply put, we don’t know and all of the above is speculation without adequate evidence one way or another.

    Similarly, when a Special Counsel employs a novel theory of obstruction and can’t make a determination one way or another based on “difficult issues of law and fact”, it raises the issue of whether it’s wise or even prudent to make intent/mind-reading the primary basis for obstruction (in essence, thought crimes) that, in turn, could lead to possible impeachment. Caveat emptor.

    1. Thirteenth Letter, Intent [motive, willfulness, culpability etc.] is an element of every crime. But intent is never the only element of any crime. Criminal allegations are often defensible on the basis that the criminal act was unintended or that the intent behind the act was not criminal.

      Would you call those defenses by the name of “thought defenses”? Probably not. And yet, when you perceive the possibility for an intent defense, you call the criminal allegation a “thought crime”. I think that the only “novel theory” at work there is yours, Thirteenth Letter.

      1. That’s the point L4D. In Mueller’s theory, intent essentially becomes the only element of obstruction. If you’re conversant with law then work it out in terms of the actus reus (“conduct”) and mens rea (“intent”).

        Let’s take the established view of obstruction–for example, subornation of perjury. The act or conduct is in and of itself a crime. The intent can be proven separately and/or inferred from the underlying crime involved and if none, can be inferred from the act of subornation of perjury itself (although considerably more difficult if there’s no underlying crime).

        Contrast the above with Mueller’s theory of obstruction. The President engages in a constitutionally authorized act–for example, the firing of Comey. The act or conduct itself, in stark contrast to the established view of obstruction, is legal. However, the Mueller theory holds that a lawful action, if driven by corrupt intent, is obstruction. Accepting for a moment the validity of such a theory (which is clearly unsettled law), let’s assume that there is, in fact, an underlying crime. For example, Mueller charged Trump with conspiracy based on the evidence at hand. In this hypothetical, there is now a plausible basis for corrupt intent–Trump fired Mueller to impede the investigation in order to cover-up a conspiracy he was knowingly involved in. Now let’s consider the case where there is no underlying crime which would significantly undercut the basis for corrupt intent. You are then left with a lawful act or conduct (the firing of Comey) and the open issue of intent–ie, Mueller must prove a sole element, corrupt intent or there is no obstruction even under his own theory.

        Let’s then take a look at the facts in the Mueller case:

        1) There is no underlying crime
        2) Mueller was allowed to complete his investigation without impairment
        3) Trump cooperated extensively with Special Counsel–over a million documents, >20 interview with WH officials including McGahn, waiving of executive privilege.
        4) Trump has a legal and political right–if not imperative–to defend his Presidency publicly.
        5) Mueller does not have written or in-person evidence from the President as it pertains to obstruction–so how exactly can Mueller definitively establish corrupt intent without pivotal evidence? Mueller could have subpoenaed the President but knew he couldn’t pass the legal bar set US v Espy and that would be just the first hurdle he needed to clear.

        It boils down to Presidential mind-reading when Mueller lacks Trump’s testimony on obstruction. All of the above is what Mueller terms “difficult issues of law and fact”.

        The bottom line in more prosaic terms: the case for obstruction is absurd. Work it out for yourself.

  11. The judge is just following the leftist trend of Fox News since the soy boy sons have decided to turn Fox into another MSMBC. He’s become another carny geek.

  12. Trump has good instincts. I’ve never trusted this judge as I see him on FOX and Friends. He’s a Democrat like Chris Wallace. Trump has to be careful of both of them. They voted for Hillary.

    1. I read with high interest Turley’s comment that he views Chris Wallace as among the best and most independent living TV news interviewers. I never really thought much about Wallace one way or the other prior to reading Turley’s opinion. Of course Chris’ late father Mike was an avowed leftist DNC troll masquerading (woefully) as an independent news man.

      (Interesting how common is it for ultra elitist multi-millionaire progressives like Mike to always strive to portray themselves as protectors of the little guy, when their primary life goal is to increase the ratio of 3rd world illiterates to mow their lawns and clean their pools and toilets for less pay.)

      Fast forward now a year or maybe less, during which time I looked closely to analyze Chris’ interview style. With so-called conservatives he repeatedly presses the absolutely toughest questions, mixed with extreme and obvious animus, light scowling/frustration, etc. The next guest is a progressive scum bag (I know, redundant) and Chris is smiling, breathing easy, softballs, having a friendly living room conversation.

      Tree, meet apple.

      Remember that when Trump first made a real effort for POTUS, Murdoch wanted to destroy Trump. Remember also progressives, that in the 2016 POTUS election you voted with the Koch brothers, George Will, uber war monger son of a Bolshevik Bill Kristol, the Bush Krime Syndikat, etc. Congratulations!

      The late journalist Michael Piper made a good case that “The Farm” (Al-CIAda) recruited John Kerry, Hillary Rodham, and Bill Clinton, while all three were still in College. The CIA’s goal was of course to infiltrate the perceived anti-US anti-Viet Nam war college protestors, and what better way than to recruit and own the leaders of the groups such protestors joined. As worldly as these are these three slime balls, it’s not too difficult to imagine they’d respond favorably with iron clad guarantees of success by the 4th branch of government.

      Fast forward to Bill in the Arkansas State House, where is apparently ran drugs for the CIA, only further proving Piper’s claims. It also perfectly explains how and why HRC committed so many Federal felonies with abandon and no fear of punishment, it exactly explains why the FBI (the domestic branch of the CIA) protected HRC after her felonies became public knowledge, and best and positively explains how and why the FBI had to destroy Trump who the Shadow Government consider an uncontrollable outsider, while HRC is the consummate insider who at every step would do only and always exactly what the Deep State orders her to do.

      From my view, an avowed America Firster and Always, the down side with Trump is he lied about stopping the wars (just like Jesus Soetoro Obama) and Israel seems to own Trump lock stock and barrel.

      1. I think that Chris Wallace is one of the best interviewers around, and I’ve found him to be even- handed and a “legitimate” moderator. I’ve mentioned Jim Leher and Brian Lamb as “the gold standard” for interviewers, and I don’t think any of they current crop is in their league.
        Chuck Todd and his predecessor David Gregory are/ were often not worth watching, given obvious bias that comes through at times.
        Washington Week in Review was probably at its peak with Paul Duke, but it’s still worthwhile to watch. Especially with panelists like Dan Balz.
        Charlie Rose’s show was usually very good, but he’s history. Amanpour is WAY below Rose as an interviewer, but PBS seems to have seems to have settled on her to replace Rose.
        In my next post, I’ll review all if the regional and local interviewers and journalists🧐😴

  13. I thought the Judge had a well reasoned position on impeachment of the orange one – but the orange one can’t seem to handle the truth – but he knows he should be impeached and that seems to bother him

  14. I’m pretty moderate and lean to the right. I voted for Trump for a few reasons and not because I particularly like him. He’s done good things however, he just comes across as unhinged at times. He’s the center of his own universe. Usually I ignore him and his bizarre tweets when I hear about them on the news, but this one got me. He keeps on showing us who he is. Ack!!! Just stop tweeting, Mr. President.

    1. Susan,
      “He comes across as unhinged sometimes?!?
      According to one source, he is a “very stable genius”. Now that source may have been biased😄, but there are different “takes” on his unpredictable and inconsistent actions as president.
      As I mentioned in the earlier comment, the traits he’s exhibited in his political life mirror his pre-campaign personality.
      You probably already know that, if you’be followed Trump for any length of time

      1. Tom, what a lot of people don’t recognize is the little jabs the President uses in his tweets are there to combat negative press and keep him in the public eye. Had he not used Twitter he probably would have lost the election. We all at one time or another get annoyed at one of his tweets, but then we take note of his actions. GDP 3.2% thought absolutely impossible just a couple of years ago. A much faster fall in unemployment along with increased salaries and lower taxes. Many more good things but best of all we don’t have Hillary who would have put us in the dumps.

  15. tRump has been having a mental breakdown since 11-8-16. Actually way before then, but before he wasn’t in a position to totally screw the American public.

    1. Trump has been a high- profile public figure for at least 35 years.
      Anyone who even barely followed his career, or the business news, was likely to know something about Trump.
      His behavior as a political candidate, and then as president, is consistent with his “pre- political’ life.
      Whether he got elected in spite of those traits, or because of them, is probably unanswerable.
      But anyone who knows his history / background should not be surprised with his post- election conduct. It’s not as if winning the election unmasked some previously unknown components of his personality.

  16. Well, of course, Trump would never have a personal vendetta against anyone…..oh that is someone else of whom I’m thinking. Mr. Trump runs on personal vendetta and animus. Apart from that he is so thin skinned, it’s hard to believe he’s lived this long without a mental breakdown. Or has he?

  17. “He is not the type of person to have personal animus warp his legal analysis even if such animus existed.”

    I like Judge Nappi too, but are you sure about that statement? In the past two years I’ve seen a number of people I thought were reputable politicians prove that they had other agendas.

  18. Don’t you know TRUMP lies about everything r? Even when there is no reason to.

  19. “I have known Napolitano for years and I have always respected his professionalism and integrity.”

    Professor Turley also knew Avenatti and originally didn’t seem to disfavor him either. I will have to check the archives. I so happen to like a lot that Andrew Napolitano says but at times I think he is off the wall. I don’t know for sure but I believe he was a never Trumper early on. I don’t care if he didn’t like Trump and criticized him but there is something in the never Trumpers that represents elistist thinking that IMO clouds their minds.

    1. I rarely watch either Napolitano or Judge Jeanne or Nancy Grace.
      I don’t know a lot about their resumes, but based on what I have seen of all three, they don’t appear to be legal heavyweights.
      There were times when Napolitano was not even correctly presenting the facts of a case correctly.

    2. I certainly find suspect Turley’s apparent dearth of critical comments about Avenatti. I can only presume the adult Avenatti has always been the low life slime ball that he is now.

      Who would have thought, 20 years ago, the MSM would elevate to high status women like Avenatti’s ex-client porn star. I almost feel sorry for her, but not really.

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