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

Fox News legal analyst Andrew NapolitanoAndrew Peter NapolitanoFox's Napolitano to Trump: First Amendment 'does not regulate Twitter' Judge Napolitano: Trump doesn't have right to override governors on church openings Fox's Napolitano: NJ gym owner defying stay-at-home order 'an American hero and national treasure' MORE claimed President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' 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."

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One such instance was Trump directing acting Secretary of Defense Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanHouse Armed Services chairman expresses confidence in Esper amid aircraft carrier coronavirus crisis Boeing pleads for bailout under weight of coronavirus, 737 fallout Esper's chief of staff to depart at end of January 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.