While Fox News host Shepard Smith and contributor senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano have faced caustic criticism from conservatives for their constant attacks on President Donald Trump and his associates, they have unwittingly found new fans at CNN.
Speaking Tuesday about the duo, a panel of CNN contributors all agreed that Smith and Napolitano represent real “journalism,” whereas their colleagues at Fox represent the “crazy.”
Listen to part one of their fan club meeting below:
The contributors reached the conclusion while talking about a recent discussion between the two in which the judge alleged there’s “ample evidence” for federal prosecutors to indict the president.
“Last week in a federal direct court here in New York City, a federal judge at the end of Michael Cohen‘s sentencing said the president orchestrated and paid for this crime,” he said Monday to Smith. “There’s ample evidence to indict the president, the question is do they want to do it.”
“The DOJ has three opinions on this: two, say you can’t indict a sitting president, one, say you can. But all three address the problem of what do you do when the statute of limitations is about to expire.”
“All three agree in that circumstance you indict in secret, keep the indictment sealed and release it the day he gets out of office. You can’t let a person go scot-free because they happen to be in the White House.”
“So he may be an already indicted co-conspirator?” Smith enthusiastically replied, drool practically dripping off his chin.
“That I don’t know about, but it could be because we don’t know what’s been sealed,” the judge confirmed.
It was as if they were itching for the president to be indicted.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin of course found the two’s discussion very refreshing: “The judge is a good guy and a good lawyer and a serious person. And that’s Shep Smith’s show … That’s like the journalism zone of the Fox network. That’s not prime time. Prime time is crazy night,” he said.
Listen to part two of the fan club meeting below:
Nia-Malika Henderson appeared to concur, saying, “[H]e has been on other shows basically fact-checking the President, fact-checking Giuliani when Giuliani says this isn’t a crime, you know, in terms of the campaign finance violation,” she said. “It’s fascinating.”
“We know the president keeps his channel locked on Fox News. Sometimes he watches it in repeat. He obviously watches CNN, too. So to hear [Napolitano] consistently go against the talking points of this White House is fascinating to see that on Fox News.”
“It’s just simply called telling the truth,” Toobin replied.
But that’s not actually the truth, which isn’t surprising given whom Toobin works for. The fact is that for every legal expert who believes there’s “ample evidence” to indict the president, there’s another legal expert who claims there’s isn’t enough evidence to indict, let alone convict.
Rand Paul has a question. Does US want to become a banana republic where every president gets prosecuted, and everybody gets thrown in jail when they’re done with office? https://t.co/10oSVZOecE
— ❗️Nancy Melone❗️ (@NancyMelone) December 9, 2018
In a sentencing memo filed around the start of the month, federal prosecutors in New York recommended Cohen be served with “[a] substantial term of imprisonment” for committing “four distinct federal crimes,” including violating campaign finance laws.
“During the campaign, Cohen played a central role in two similar schemes to purchase the right to stories –– each from women who claimed to have had an affair with Individual-1 –– so as to suppress the stories and thereby prevent them from influencing the election,” the memo read.
“With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election. Cohen coordinated his actions with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments.”
“In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1. As a result of Cohen’s actions, neither woman spoke to the press prior to the election,” it concludes.
The term “Individual-1” refers to the president, though it’s unclear whether his alleged role in Cohen’s crimes warrants criminal prosecution, let alone incarceration. Many say it doesn’t, including law Professor Bradley A. Smith of the Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio.
“There’s no general law against a president’s having a sleazy private life or trying to cover up sexual escapades, and it’s hard, in this post-Clinton era, to throw out a president on that basis alone,” the legal expert opined for National Review this week.
The president’s attorney Rudy Giulianni has echoed this same point.
“It’s not a crime,” he asserted during an appearance over the weekend on ABC’s “This Week.” “Paying $130,000 to Stormy whatever and paying $130,000 to the other one is not a crime.”
“The Edwards case determined that… The FEC ruled on the Edwards case before they prosecuted it. The FEC ruled it’s no violation of the campaign finance law. The Justice Department went ahead and prosecuted it anyway and they were embarrassed.”
Seven years ago a federal grand jury indicted then-North Carolina Sen. John Edwards on allegations he’d used political donations to hide an affair. A year later he was found not guilty.
“If it’s not a campaign expense, it can’t be a campaign contribution. These are not campaign contributions,” Giuliani added.
Why aren’t they campaign contributions? Because Trump’s been paying off women for years, and because he used his own money to pay off the latest women, as noted by social media.
Congress has an actual fund to pay off victims of sexual harassment from Congressmen that is payed for by us taxpayers. You really think these same Congressmen are going to try and impeach the president because he used his own money to do the same thing?
— ??MERICA?? (@chris08018) December 18, 2018
Trump cannot be guilty of campaign finance laws where he used his own money for an expense that arose incidentally. If Trump is guilty of this then the 260 members of Congress who used a Fed slush fund to pay off sex assault survivors makes them all indictable
— MephWTOBREXITfish (@mephistofish) December 18, 2018
#Trump Trump apparently used his own money to pay off two women extorting him. Bill Clinton used his own money to pay off women. Congress (including Adam Schiff) used taxpayer funds to pay off their accusers. Who are the felons here!?
— Jack Marino (@jackmarino) December 18, 2018
I’d still want to know Who r the Congressmen and Senators who used taxpayer money to pay off their sexual partner to keep them quiet. Bet more than a few of them are bashing Trump for using his Own Money, which by the way is Not illegal, but using taxpayer money should be
— Len Z (@LenZ95551016) December 18, 2018
Why are Americans mad @realDonaldTrump used his own money how he wanted before he was President??
But Congress has a slush fund to pay people off and nobody is saying a word hmm..#IStandWithTrump
— ?? American Patriots United ?? (@kush479) December 17, 2018
Let me get this straight; They want to impeach Trump for paying off someone to be quite with his own money. But the same people who want to impeach him used tax payer money to pay off women but they get to stay in office??? #Deepstate #DemocratHypocrisy
— Pastor David M. Berman (@DrDavidMBerman) December 17, 2018
They’re right: Congress did use taxpayer funds to pay off their own accusers.
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