Fox News is strongly hedging its bets on whether Donald Trump is going to survive this. That’s the only way to interpret the network’s decision to allow one of its most prominent legal experts, Judge Andrew Napolitano, to hammer away at Trump more aggressively than ever as the Senate impeachment trial plays out.
Donald Trump and his defense attorneys are now arguing, with some semblance of straight face, that the articles of impeachment against him are invalid because they don’t accuse him of a specific violation of the law. In reality the articles of impeachment identify several criminal violations. But Trump never met a lie he didn’t want to tell even more blatantly, so he’s landed on one of the most gibberish defenses of all time.
Judge Napolitano, however, doesn’t want to hear it. He’s posted a new op-ed on the Fox News website, and here’s the money shot: “The Constitution prescribes the bases for impeachment as treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. However, this use of the word ‘crimes’ does not refer to violations of federal criminal statutes. It refers to behavior that is so destructive of the constitutional order that it is the moral equivalent of statutory crimes.”
In other words, Donald Trump is just making things up and he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Credit goes to Napolitano for calling it like it is. But the real story here may be that Fox News clearly believes there’s a strong chance Trump is about to meet his political downfall, through his impeachment trial or more likely the November election, and it wants to get out ahead of it by allowing at least a few of its analysts to start preparing viewers for Trump’s downfall.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report