Tags: 2020 Elections | Donald Trump | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | impeachment | crime | bribery

Judge Nap: Trump Might Have Admitted Crime on Ukraine Call

president donald trump on the phone in the oval office
President Donald Trump (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 September 2019 05:06 PM

If President Donald Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden in their July telephone call, it is a crime, retired Judge Andrew Napolitano said Tuesday.

"It is a crime for the president to solicit aid for his campaign from a foreign government," Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, told Shepard Smith on Fox News, Mediaite reports.

"So, that to which the president has admitted is in and of itself a crime?" Smith asked.

"Yes," Napolitano responded. "This is the same crime for which the Trump Organization was investigated by Bob Mueller, who decided not to seek an indictment because there wasn't enough evidence."

Trump reportedly asked Zelensky as many as eight times to work with personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigate the former vice president and his son, Hunter, in their July 25 call — though the president has denied that he withheld $400 million in military aid to the country in exchange for any such cooperation.

The president tweeted Tuesday afternoon that he had authorized release Wednesday "of the complete, fully declassified and un-redacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is expected to announce a formal House impeachment inquiry later Tuesday.

Regarding Giuliani, Smith asked Napolitano whether his admission that he had asked Ukrainian officials about a Biden probe also constituted a crime.

"If that was done in order to enhance the president's re-election campaign, yes, it's the same crime that the president would've committed," the retired judge said.

Napolitano added that the Trump administration was "on very thin ice" regarding the blocking of the whistleblower complaint regarding the phone call.

Further, Smith reviewed what President Trump has admitted to in recent days — "that he made a phone call to the new president of Ukraine . . . that he had discussions about investigating his upcoming 2020 presidential rival" — before asking, "Based on, that in and of itself, how serious is this matter?"

Napolitano said "bribery is absolutely an impeachable offense" if Trump engaged in such activity.

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It is a crime if President Donald Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden in their July telephone call, according to retired Judge Andrew Napolitano on Tuesday.
impeachment, crime, bribery, volodymyr zelensky, andrew napolitano
Tuesday, 24 September 2019 05:06 PM
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