Napolitano claims Trump violated separation of powers 3 times in last week

Fox News legal analyst Andrew NapolitanoAndrew Peter NapolitanoDonald Trump is a 'sometimes socialist' Fox's Napolitano: Trump's 'go back' tweet 'a rejection of the nation as a melting pot' Fox News legal analyst calls Trump's attacks on minority Democrats 'racist' MORE claimed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE has violated the separation of powers three times in the last week alone.

The former New Jersey Supreme Court judge said on "Judge Napolitano’s Chambers" on Fox News that Trump has been "abandoning separation of powers Madison so carefully crafted." 

Napolitano highlighted what he said were three instances, calling it a "very dangerous trend."

ADVERTISEMENT

One such instance was Trump directing acting Secretary of Defense Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanDefense chief calls on European allies to be wary of China's investments, blasts Russia Pentagon chief approves 20 more miles of border wall Why Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary MORE not to purchase a missile defense system that Congress called for and authorized, instead instructing him to use the funding for a portion of the wall along the Texas-Mexico border, Napolitano said.

"He asked Congress for the money, and the Congress said no, and he took the money anyway," he said. "That violates the separation of powers."

Napolitano also cited Trump telling Shanahan to send troops to secure the southern border and Trump’s decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, which he called a tax.

As many economists have, Napolitano argued that tariffs are not paid by the country they are imposed upon, in this case China, as the cost of tariffs are actually passed on to the consumer — hence the term "tax."

Napolitano noted that presidents exercising increased power predates Trump and is made possible when Congress fails to do its job properly.

"There was a time in American history when the Congress wrote the laws, and the president enforced the laws, and the courts interpreted them," Napolitano said in his opening.

Napolitano, a target of attacks from Trump in recent weeks, has become one of the president's most vocal critics and one of a few from the president’s favorite news network.