Fox News legal analyst: Mueller report shows Trump obstructed justice 'at least half-dozen' times

Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano argued Thursday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's report contains "at least a half-dozen" instances of President TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries MORE committing obstruction of justice. 

"Mueller laid out at least a half-dozen crimes of obstruction committed by Trump," Napolitano writes in a Fox News op-ed, before listing off the various examples that he considers to be obstruction of justice. 


Napolitano, among other things, argues that Trump obstructed justice by ordering former White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller, and to then lie to the media about the request. McGahn ultimately refused to follow through on Trump's order, according to Mueller's report. 

Trump on Thursday denied ordering McGahn to dismiss Mueller, saying that if he wanted to fire the special counsel, he would have done it himself. 

"Obstruction is a rare crime that is rarely completed," Napolitano adds. "Stated differently, the obstructer need not succeed in order to be charged with obstruction. That's because the statute itself prohibits attempting to impede or interfere with any government proceeding for a corrupt or self-serving purpose."

The comments from Napolitano come as part of an essay in which he takes aim at both Trump and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrProsecutor defends initial DOJ recommendation at Stone sentencing Roger Stone sentenced to over three years in prison Trump decries lack of 'fairness' in Stone trial ahead of sentencing MORE. Napolitano writes that Barr's view that obstruction of justice can only be committed if the alleged perpetrator committed the crime he is being investigated for is "wrong."

"The nearly universal view of law enforcement, however, is that the obstruction statute prohibits all attempted self-serving interference with government investigations or proceedings," Napolitano writes. 

He concludes by saying that if Trump obstructed justice to "save innocent life or preserve human freedom, he would have a moral defense."

"But ordering obstruction to save himself from the consequences of his own behavior is unlawful, defenseless and condemnable," he writes. 

The Justice Department last week released a redacted report of Mueller's investigation into Russian interference and whether Trump obstructed justice. Mueller did not establish that there was a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow to influence the 2016 election. 

But the report notes that Mueller was unable to “conclusively determine” that no criminal conduct occurred in regard to obstruction of justice.

Napolitano said last week that evidence detailed in the report “might be enough to prosecute” Trump.