President Donald Trump’s legal woes are likely just beginning, and his supporters at “Fox & Friends” got an earful about why during the Thursday broadcast.
Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano repeatedly told the morning show’s hosts that the sentencing of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen on Wednesday is sure to cause trouble for the president. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for multiple violations, including breaking campaign finance law through hush money payments to women who claimed they had sexual affairs with Trump. Prosecutors said Trump directed Cohen to make the payments ahead of the 2016 election.
“A very, very telling statement came out of the judge’s mouth yesterday ... and that was about the president,” Napolitano, a former judge, said on “Fox & Friends.” “The judge finding that the president ordered and paid for Michael Cohen to commit a crime. That is very telling.”
Trump denied telling Cohen to break the law, as “Fox & Friends” host Steve Doocy noted. Cohen made a “damage control payment” and not an illegal campaign payment, Doocy said, paraphrasing Trump.
“I understand the president’s argument,” Napolitano said. “Unfortunately, the court and the prosecutors who work for the president disagree with him.”
Napolitano argued that if payments made on behalf of Trump to cover up alleged affairs were misreported or filed incorrectly, they could have been corrected. But that’s not what happened.
“If you do this as part of a scheme, to try to hide it, then it’s not a civil wrong, then it’s a crime. That’s what the judge found yesterday,” Napolitano said.
Earlier Thursday, Napolitano published an op-ed piece on Fox News’ website asserting that Trump is “directly in the legal crosshairs of federal prosecutors” based on sentencing memorandums for Cohen and Paul Manafort, who is Trump’s former campaign chairman.
Napolitano argued that based on those memorandums, the scope of Trump’s legal trouble goes beyond these hush-money payments.
“The president may want the public to think that none of this troubles him,” he wrote. “Yet the evidence of the falsity of his publicly denied proximity to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin during the campaign and the possession of evidence by the Department of Justice of his pre-presidential criminal behavior are gravely serious, and he cannot reasonably pretend that they are not.”