Fox News legal analyst says quid pro quo is 'clearly impeachable': Trump requested 'criminal' act

Fox News legal analyst Andrew NapolitanoAndrew Peter NapolitanoFox's Napolitano predicts Trump will testify on own behalf at Senate trial Fox's Napolitano says obstruction 'easiest' impeachment offense for Democrats Fox's Napolitano: Trump loses the 'unfair' argument by not participating in hearings MORE on Tuesday pushed back against the argument that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE using a quid pro quo in his dealings with Ukraine did not qualify as an impeachable offense. 

"Oh, it’s clearly impeachable because the president requested something that’s criminal to ask," Napolitano said on Fox News, referencing Trump's request on a July 25 phone call that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky launch an investigation into 2020 presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE and his son Hunter Biden over unfounded allegations of corruption.


Napolitano argued that Trump asking Zelensky for a "favor" amounted to a request for a foreign leader to help his presidential election, a violation of the law. 

The comments from Napolitano come just a day before the House moves into the public phase of its impeachment inquiry into Trump and his dealings with Ukraine.  

As part of the inquiry, House Democrats have been probing allegations that Trump withheld nearly $400 million in military aid as part of an effort to get Ukraine to open investigation into the Bidens and the 2016 election. 

For example, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified last week that he recalled a September meeting with a top aide to Zelensky in which he conditioned military aid on a public statement about the probes. 

But Trump and Republicans have continually dismissed the allegations, with some speculating on whether a quid pro quo would even be impeachable. 

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: House passes compromise defense bill | Turkey sanctions advance in Senate over Trump objections | Top general says military won't be 'raping, burning and pillaging' after Trump pardons Rand Paul: 'We need to re-examine' US-Saudi relationship after Florida shooting Senate panel advances Turkey sanctions bill despite Trump objections MORE (R-Ky.) said Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press" that Trump "has every right" to withhold aid from a country where he believes corruption might be taking place. 

The Washington Post reported in early November that a growing number of Republicans were prepared to acknowledge that a quid pro quo took place but that the action was legal. 

Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, has repeatedly said that Trump committed a crime in his dealings with Ukraine. In October, he wrote in a Fox News column that his July 25 phone call with Zelensky "manifested both criminal and impeachable behavior." 

He told The Associated Press on Monday that Trump's "dog whistles of lawless behavior to many of his supporters" called into question his fitness for office. He also stated that there was a legal basis to argue Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors, asserting that "if I were a Democrat in the House, which I am not and never will be, I would vote to impeach.”