Fox News‘ incremental shift away from its unanimous support of Donald Trump took another brick out of the normally unbroken wall today with the op-ed published on the cable news network’s web site by its senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano.
Napolitano acknowledged the win that the Senate acquittal of the president represented for the president personally but pointed out how damaging the rigged process that led to the failure to remove Trump from office was to the essential principles that our system of government is founded upon.
He also speculated on how the president who decided to resign rather than face the shame of an impeachment trial might react if he was still alive to witness the shameful capitulation of the supposedly impartial jurors of the senate to the tactics of intimidation, fear, and subterfuge employed by the Trump White House to ensure his acquittal in the face of overwhelming evidence of his guilt.
“Trump will luxuriate in his victory. But the personal victory for him is a legal assault on the Constitution,” Napolitano wrote in the op-ed . “The president has taken an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. Instead, he has trashed it.”
“How? By manipulating Senate Republicans to bar firsthand evidence and keep it from senatorial and public scrutiny, Trump and his Senate collaborators have insulated him and future presidents from the moral and constitutional truism that no president is above the law,” he added. “Somewhere, Richard Nixon is smiling.”
That’s an amazing reaction for someone who is likely sitting in a pit of flames if one is inclined to believe in the afterlife.
“In its wake is a Congress ceding power to the presidency,” Napolitano wrote, “almost as if the states had ratified a constitutional amendment redefining the impeachment language to permit a president to engage in high crimes and misdemeanors so long as he believes that they are in the national interest and so long as his party has an iron-clad grip on the Senate.”
“The evidence that Trump did this is overwhelming and beyond a reasonable doubt, and no one with firsthand knowledge denied it,” Napolitano continued. “Numerous government officials recounted that the presidential leverage of $391 million in U.S. assistance for a personal political favor did occur and the government’s own watchdog concluded that it was indisputably unlawful.”
While Napolitano’s op-ed runs contrary to the sentiments heard on most of the programs broadcast by Fox News, the New Jersey Superior Court judge has made his views on Trump’s conduct quite clear to the cable news network’s viewers since the results of the House impeachment investigations yielded such damning evidence against the president that it was still inconceivable that only a single Republican senator would look at the facts and vote to remove the transgressive Trump from office.
As early as December, Judge Napolitano was saying that the Democrats had proven their case against the president, and he later wrote that the House impeachment managers had provided “ample and uncontradicted” evidence of the reasons to vote for Trump’s ejection from the White House.
Lest anyone think that Napolitano is just another liberal judge piling on the right-wing’s favorite president, it helps to know that he is both strongly anti-womens’ choice when it comes to abortion and a regular promoter of conspiracy theories.
When even the legal experts most sympathetic to Trump’s political stances can’t ignore the magnitude of his constitutional violations, the shame that should be directed at the Republican senators who chose to ignore their constitutional imperative to convict the lawless president grows even greater.