Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano says the evidence appears to increasingly show that the Donald Trump presidential campaign did collude with Russia during the height of the 2016 race and that Special Counsel Robert Mueller can prove it.
During an appearance with anchor Shepard Smith, Napolitano said that court papers, which Paul Manafort’s defense team forgot to fully seal, revealed that the former campaign chairman had been accused by federal prosecutors of lying about handing over confidential polling data during the campaign to a Putin-aligned Russian oligarch.
“This shows that Bob Mueller can demonstrate to a court without the testimony of Paul Manafort that the campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence and the connection involved information going from the campaign to the Russians,” Napolitano said. “The question is, was this in return for a promise of something from the Russians, and did the candidate, now the president, know about it?”
“If this is collusion — though collusion isn’t a crime — this would be collusion,” Smith said.
“Yes,” Napolitano agreed. “Conspiracy is an agreement to commit a crime … Whether or not the thing of value arrives. The agreement is what is the crime.”
Once one of President Trump’s most stalwart boosters on the channel, Napolitano has turned sharply negative toward the billionaire in recent months with commentary that has increasingly electrified Trump critics. In December, the judge said it was possible the president has already been indicted by Mueller, but that it currently remains under seal.
“There’s ample evidence … to indict the president,” Napolitano said. “The question is do they want to do it. The DOJ has three opinions on this. Two say you can’t indict a sitting president, one says you can but all three address the problem of what do you do when the statute of limitations is about to expire. All three agree in that circumstance you indict in secret, keep the indictment sealed and release it the day they get out of office.”
In the past, Trump has lauded Napolitano’s legal acumen and even supposedly once considered him for appointment to the Supreme Court.