Fox’s Judge Nap Dismisses GOP Impeachment Complaint: Prosecutors Don’t Gather Evidence in Public
Republicans and their supporters in the media have criticized the burgeoning impeachment inquiry because much of it is taking place behind closed doors. According to President Donald Trump and his defenders, the lack of public hearings so far is violating due process and shows that House Democrats aren’t proceeding fairly. Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano explained why this argument is wrong on Thursday.
“Republicans are complaining. why are these interrogations taking place in secret and why isn’t a transcript being revealed?” Napolitano told Fox & Friends.
“We have a mindset that this is a trial and a trial is public and the defendant is there and the defendant has his or her lawyers and they are challenging what the government is doing. This is not a trial. This is the prosecutors interviewing their witnesses and that procedure never takes place in public because you want privacy and you want candor.”
“You also want to be able to decide is there really a case here? Those decisions are made in private. So, can secret testimony be introduced against the President? Of course not. But the committee, the Intelligence Committee can decide in secret what to present in public and then in there it can be challenged.”
“So this is a long process. And we shouldn’t be influenced by Hollywood and by our image of a jury trial because the House gets to write its own rules, the piece I wrote this morning, whether they are objectively fair or not. And there’s no appeal from those rules and the rules allow these interrogations in private.”
Co-host Steve Doocy pressed Napolitano on whether the system was fair. Napolitano again used the prosecutor analogy.
“It may feel unfair in our gut but it is consistent with the Constitution and consistent with the House rules. It’s like prosecutors investigating somebody. They really think that person is guilty. They don’t announce it. They’re looking for evidence to support that idea or if there is any evidence contrary to it. But, prosecutors sometimes themselves leak because they want to sort of poison the well against the person they’re investigating.”
Napolitano went on to debunk another Republican talking point: that the House can’t issue subpoenas on the matter until there’s a vote on it.
“Well the Republicans changed the rules when John Boehner was the Speaker of the House allowing each individual committee to issue subpoenas without a House-wide vote. So those subpoenas are valid and people who resist them, ignore them, put them in a drawer, do so at your peril.”
Watch the video above, via Fox News.