Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday said he is worried President Trump is “prepared to commit a felony” after the president said he would accept foreign intel on a political opponent if offered, and that he doesn’t feel it’s necessary to contact the FBI.
Napolitano was asked by Fox News anchor Shep Smith if there was any “gray area” or “wiggle room” when it comes to campaigns legally receiving “dirt from a foreign entity on a political opponent.”
“There’s no wiggle room with respect to dirt,” Napolitano explained. “With respect to opposition research. The Federal Election Commission decided in other cases that that is a thing of value.”
Smith wondered if the actions Trump described in his interview with ABC News constituted a felony if acted upon.
“Correct,” Napolitano stated. “Meaning he would be committing a felony and the person giving it to him, if the person was here, would be committing a felony as well.”
Napolitano explained that regardless of Trump’s belief that freedom of speech protects him, the law strictly prohibits him from soliciting foreign assistance in an election.
“If he is a candidate, then what he receives is regulated by federal laws that he took an oath to uphold,” the Fox analyst explained. “Among them are you cannot take something, accept something, receive something from a foreign national under the guise of being the head of state or because you want to use it for your campaign.”
Smith also discussed a report that Senate Democrats are currently working on legislation that would make it a requirement that candidates report such contacts with the FBI.
“The president told George Stephanopoulos the FBI director is wrong,” Napolitano stated. “Such a statute would clarify this and impose upon the president—whoever that may be—more of a burden to enforce these laws on him or herself as well as on anybody else running for office.”
When asked what he initially thought of the president’s remarks, Napolitano said: “The president of the United States of America is prepared to commit a felony to get re-elected. That was my reaction and it was not a happy one. I thought he shot himself in the foot. I wish he didn’t say it.”