Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano warned on Monday that revelations of President Donald Trump’s alleged requests for election help from Ukraine are far more damning than any of the other scandals that have plagued his administration.
“I think this is the most serious charge against the president, far more serious than what Bob Mueller dug or dragged up against him, if there was a quid pro quo,” Napolitano, a judge and the network’s senior judicial analyst, said Monday, referring to the former special counsel’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.
According to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, in an August whistleblower complaint, a member of the intelligence community flagged a July 25 phone call from Trump to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom Trump allegedly asked several times to assist his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani with an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.
The same month, U.S. military aid was being withheld from Ukraine, though the decision was made in early July, The New York Times reported.
Even if Trump’s conversation with Zelensky made no explicit reference to a deal, Napolitano argued it may have been implicit.
“If you are the President of the United States and you are making a conversation that you know your intelligence community is listening to, of course you’re not going to articulate a quid pro quo,” he said. “You’ll just make the quid pro quo happen.”
Trump has repeatedly defended his call with Zelensky, though on Sunday he appeared to confirm that Biden was mentioned in their “largely congratulatory” conversation purportedly about the Ukrainian presidential election.
Trump added that they also spoke of “all of the corruption taking place and largely the fact that we don’t want our people, like Vice President Biden and his son, creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine.”
Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has yet to deliver it to lawmakers, despite it being required by law. However, his lawyer said that the Justice Department feels it can be legally withheld, the Times reported.
Schumer is now urging his Senate colleagues to subpoena the report, arguing along with Pelosi that it is, in fact, illegal for it to be kept from lawmakers.