It was news the hosts of Fox & Friends were apparently unprepared to hear.
Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano told the anchors of Donald Trump’s favorite morning show on Tuesday that the president’s Monday tweet about the indictments of two Republican congressmen is potential “fodder” for special counsel Robert Mueller’s obstruction-of-justice probe.
“When the president says these things—basically, ‘I want you to use the Justice Department to help the Republican Party’—that is fodder for the cannon of Bob Mueller and the never-Trumpers,” said Napolitano. “It’s his using his own words out of his own mouth to help put him in a box of the use of government for political purposes.”
In a Monday tweet, Trump accused Attorney General Jeff Sessions of jeopardizing the Republican Party with the indictments of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY).
“Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff......” he wrote.
To the stiffly silent Fox & Friends hosts, Napolitano further defended the Justice Department, saying it would have been “most unwise” to wait until after the midterm elections to indict Hunter and Collins.
Host Brian Kilmeade responded in defense of the president with speculative questions about whether the DOJ had the evidence to indict earlier and waited until the last minute.
“Did they have these conclusions in June? Did they have them in May? Do we know that?” he asked.
Napolitano said the Justice Department was right to indict the congressmen. “There can’t be two standards, one for members of Congress—Republican members of Congress—and one for others.” he said. “It is the duty of the Justice Department to prosecute crimes when they find them.”
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt, another Trump booster, was seemingly more concerned with how the DOJ obtained a recording of Rep. Collins—reportedly from the lawn of the White House during an event—telling his son to sell a stock he reportedly had information on.
“Was that a government phone? How did they get the tape?” she asked.
Collins was arrested and charged with insider trading in August. He is accused of notifying his son and friends that they should sell shares in a drug company on which he sat on the board of before its stock tanked. A month earlier, he proposed a bill that would help the pharmaceutical company.
Hunter and his wife were indicted on charges of misuse of campaign funds and filing false finance reports last month. They allegedly used $250,000 of campaign money on personal expenses including a family vacation to Italy, school tuition, dental work, and groceries.