Fox News's Shep Smith defends Napolitano for saying Trump already committed a crime

Fox News host Shepard Smith on Wednesday defended his colleague Judge Andrew NapolitanoAndrew Peter NapolitanoAndrew Napolitano out at Fox News amid allegations of harassment Fox's Napolitano says grand jury erred in Taylor case: 'I would have indicted all three of them' Fox's Napolitano: Supreme Court confirmation hearings will be 'World War III of political battles' MORE over his assessment that President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE committed a crime by asking the leader of Ukraine to investigate 2020 presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden: Democrats' spending plan is 'a bigger darn deal' than Obamacare Biden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Biden: Comment that DOJ should prosecute those who defy subpoenas 'not appropriate' MORE and Biden's son. 

The anchor offered an impassioned defense of the Fox News legal analyst on his daily program while denouncing a network guest who called Napolitano a "fool" over his comments about the president the previous night. 

"Last night on this network, a partisan guest who supports President Trump was asked about Judge Napolitano’s legal assessment. And when he was asked, he said, unchallenged, Judge Napolitano is a fool," Smith said, referring to remarks conservative commentator and former federal prosecutor Joseph diGenova made on "Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonCountry star Travis Tritt canceling shows at sites with mandates Sunday shows - Buttigieg warns supply chain issues could stretch to next year Bill Kristol: Buttigieg entitled to call Tucker Carlson a 'repulsive bigot' MORE Tonight." "Attacking our colleague, who’s here to offer legal assessments on our air, in our work home, is repugnant."

Smith, who hasn't been shy about  voicing criticism of the president, went on to cite a cadre of legal experts who share Napolitano's views. The opinions came from a range of criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors who Smith says told him that Trump's request likely violated campaign finance law. 


For example, Smith said that Alex Little, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Justice Department, told him that Trump's solicitation "likely violates the election law prohibitions on seeking foreign assistance from foreign governments."

The comments came as Trump faces escalating pressure regarding his interactions with Volodymyr Zelensky that are at least part of a whistleblower complaint that first gained attention last week. 

The president in a July 25 phone call urged Zelensky to work with his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani associate Lev Parnas won't testify at trial Four Seasons Total Landscaping comes full circle with MSNBC special Giuliani picks Abe Lincoln filter for attack against McAuliffe MORE and Attorney General William BarrBill BarrMeadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report Why it's time for conservatives to accept the 2020 election results and move on Bannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ MORE to investigate the Bidens, according to a memo of the conversation released by the White House. 


The call occurred around the same time the Trump administration delayed millions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, raising speculation as to whether Trump used the aid as leverage in their talks. Trump has denied addressing military aid in their discussions. 

Before the memo's release, Napolitano had said that Trump had already confessed to impropriety by acknowledging that he'd asked the Ukrainian leader to look into Biden and that "it is a crime for the president to solicit aid for his campaign from a foreign government."

Appearing on Fox Business on Monday, Napolitano also warned that the current charges against Trump are more serious than what former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE found. 

"If true — we haven’t seen the whistleblower complaint, and, under the law, it has to be revealed — if true, this is an act of corruption," he said.