It has been amply established that Donald Trump is the most thin-skinned man ever to reside in the White House. This is partly because, as near as can be determined, he has never worked for anyone unrelated to him before. He spent his entire life prior to 2016 at what became the Trump Organization–and even then as either the head honcho or the heir apparent.
The result is a man who simply cannot bear to be criticized or told “no.” Whenever that happens, like clockwork Trump goes into one of his patented rants on Twitter. We got another of those on Saturday night, when one of Fox News’ top legal analysts dared to say that Robert Mueller had indeed found evidence of criminal conduct by Trump.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano is one of the few talking heads at the fair and balanced network who was willing to take off his blinders when Mueller began investigating Russia’s attempt to hack the election, as well as the shocking and criminal behavior Mueller uncovered. Last month, for instance, Napolitano told Neil Cavuto that Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, potentially exposed his former boss to severe legal peril when he testified before the House Oversight Committee. Watch here.
By Napolitano’s reckoning, Cohen implicated Trump in “at least four potential felonies.” According to Cohen, Trump lied under oath on multiple occasions about his contacts with Roger Stone, and also misled the Treasury Department and the Federal Election Commission about his debts to Cohen. There was nary a word from Trump about this, which is very telling considering that Trump’s head explodes at the tiniest perceived slight.
That makes Trump’s reaction to a video bombshell Napolitano detonated on Wednesday almost as telling. As part of his video blog, “Judge Napolitano’s Chambers,” Napolitano took a long, hard look at the evidence Mueller uncovered that suggested Trump obstructed justice. Watch here.
Napolitano was flummoxed that Mueller did not believe he could determine one way or another whether Trump should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice. “Is the president above the law?” he asked. He then reminded the audience that Mueller found at least 12 instances where Trump tried to “slow down, negate or interfere with” the investigation.
According to Napolitano, Attorney General William Barr would not have greenlighted an obstruction indictment against Trump because Barr thought it was only obstruction to “interfere in an investigation of yourself.” Au contraire, Napolitano said. He argued that when you “interfere with government functions” while an investigation is underway–even if you’re not the target–you obstruct justice.
And then Napolitano gave Trump both barrels.
If he 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.
Ouch. Imagine a judge peering down from his bench at sentencing and telling the defendant that his behavior was “immoral,” “defenseless” and “condemnable.” You never want to hear a judge use that kind of language.
While Napolitano’s comments dominated the political conversation for much of the weekend, it took awhile for Trump to weigh in. But when he did so, it looked like the anger had been building up for some time before his head finally exploded.
So to hear Trump talk, Napolitano asked him for a Supreme Court seat, and Trump turned him down, Napolitano supposedly asked Trump to pardon a friend, and Trump turned him down. Ever since then, Napolitano has been all in with the “angry Democrats” leading the “WITCH HUNT” against him.
Riddle us this, Mr. Trump. Where’s your extraordinary evidence to support such an extraordinary claim? In the absence of such evidence, we can only assume that you were grasping at straws, since any competent reading of Mueller’s report shows that Trump only avoided an indictment because several of his aides refused to carry out his more egregious orders. After all, they would have been liable themselves had they done so. And had one of those aides tried to save his own head by claiming he was following orders from the president, he would have been laughed out of the courtroom.
As often as Trump has been in a courtroom, he would know that when a judge says that your behavior was “defenseless” and “condemnable,” he’s saying that you have no case. When the best Trump can do is to engage in one of his typical unhinged Twitter rants, that says a lot.
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