Over the weekend, Brian Stelter aired a segment on Reliable Sources titled “A Tale of Two Fox News Judges” in which he expressed concern that “dissenting” voices like that of Judge Andrew Napolitano were being “drowned out by the sycophants” like Judge Jeanine Pirro.
“Do you think there’s room left for people like Judge Napolitano who are trying to explain to Fox’s viewers that Trump is in pretty hot water?” the CNN host asked.
Napolitano rarely, if ever, appears on Fox’s primetime lineup anymore, but he did sit down with afternoon host Neil Cavuto on Monday and delivered just the type of commentary that the president and his followers don’t want to hear.
Ahead of this week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Trump impeachment inquiry, Napolitano said that in his view, the president’s actions with regards to Ukraine were “clearly impeachable, because it involves two potential crimes,” namely bribery and campaign finance violations.
“They are free to say that’s not an impeachable offense,” he argued, “but they are not free to say it didn’t happen, because the evidence that it happened is overwhelming.”
Meanwhile, the president and his legal team are declining to make either argument under oath, announcing that they will not be participating in the hearings because they do not “begin to provide the president with any semblance of a fair process.”
“I think the president would be very unwise not to send lawyers there,” Napolitano advised, at the same time saying it would be “unseemly” for Trump to appear himself while witnesses give testimony against him. “But I think he makes a mistake when he refuses to participate,” he added of Trump, explaining that his lawyers would be able to make arguments on his behalf and call additional witnesses to defend him.
“So it would be in his interest to participate in that, right? To exonerate himself or at least state his case?” Cavuto asked.
“Absolutely,” Napolitano answered. “He also loses the argument ‘it’s unfair’ if he doesn’t take the opportunity to participate himself.”
The segment ended with a brief discussion of former FBI lawyer Lisa Page’s new interview with The Daily Beast. Napolitano appeared to find some common cause with Page, who spoke out in the piece about what it has been like to be attacked and ridiculed by Trump.
“It’s a little surreal when the president tweets about you, having been there, even if he says things that you know are not true,” Napoliano admitted. “I can tell you that from personal experience, although my experience is miniscule compared to what she’s been through.”
That being said, he added that he would advise Page “not to say anything” further while she is “still a potential witness and even a potential defendant, depending on what the inspector general comes out with early next week.”