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) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's report contains "at least a half-dozen" instances of President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media 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 BarrBill BarrJustice Dept. blasts Mexico's decision to close probe of former defense minister Acting attorney general condemns Capitol riots, warns 'no tolerance' for violence at Biden inauguration Barr, White House counsel told Trump not to self-pardon: report 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.