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Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano made a forceful case for President Donald Trump's removal from office in an op-ed published Thursday.
Napolitano argued that a president does not have to violate specific laws to be impeached and removed.
Nonetheless, Napolitano said it can be argued that Trump did indeed break specific laws: bribery and contempt of Congress.
He concluded that there is "ample and uncontradicted" evidence to remove trump from office.
The most prominent legal analyst for Fox News, Judge Andrew Napolitano, published an op-ed Thursday arguing that there is "ample" evidence that President Donald Trump should be removed from office.
Napolitano's piece came as the Senate entered day two of opening arguments in Trump's Senate trial following his impeachment by the House of Representatives last month.
Trump was impeached with charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Both relate to his efforts to pressure Ukraine into launching politically motivated investigations targeting his rivals while withholding military aid and a White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The first investigation Trump demanded focused on Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian natural-gas company that employed former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, until last year.
Trump has baselessly accused the Bidens of corruption related to Hunter's work for Burisma, which was previously investigated by the Ukrainian prosecutor general.
The second investigation centered on a bogus conspiracy theory suggesting Ukraine interfered in the 2016 US election. There is also no evidence to support that claim.
Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog, determined that Trump's Office of Management and Budget violated the law when, at Trump's direction, it ordered a freeze on nearly $400 million of military aid to Ukraine.
In his op-ed, Napolitano wrote that, while the GAO found that Trump acted unlawfully, the question of whether he acted criminally — a higher standard — is still up in the air.
Still, he wrote, conduct need not be a federal crime to be impeachable.
"For example, as others have suggested, if the president moved to Russia and ran the executive branch from there, or if he announced that Roman Catholics were unfit for office, he would not have committed any crimes," Napolitano wrote.
"Yet, surely, these acts would be impeachable because, when done by the president, they are the moral equivalent of crimes and are so far removed from constitutional norms as to be impeachable."
Even though the House did not accuse the president of specific crimes, Napolitano said "there is enough evidence here to do so."
Specifically, he said, federal law bars soliciting foreign interference in US politics, which can include seeking an item "of value" from a foreign government.
"There is no dispute that Trump did this," Napolitano wrote, referring to Trump's efforts to force Ukraine to deliver political dirt on Biden, who is one of the 2020 Democratic frontrunners.
"In fact, the case for this is stronger now than it was when the House impeached him last year. Since then, more evidence, which Trump tried to suppress, has come to light."
Indeed, as Insider reported last week, since Trump was impeached, there have been at least ten developments that strengthen the case for his impeachment.
They include emails being released to various news outlets detailing concerns within the Pentagon and other agencies about the legality of Trump's aid freeze.
The Trump administration continued to withhold the aid from Ukraine until it was reported on by Politico in late August and details of Trump's scheme began trickling out to Congress and the public in early September.
On September 11, after Congress requested an unredacted version of a whistleblower complaint describing concerns with Trump's conduct, the president finally released the funds.
"Those emails demonstrate conclusively that Trump ordered a halt on the release of the $391 million within minutes of his favor request, and the aid sat undistributed until congressional pressure became too much for Trump to bear," Napolitano wrote.
He added that the timeline "implicates" two other potential crimes. The first is bribery, and the second is contempt of Congress.
When congressional committees spearheading the House impeachment inquiry requested documents and witness testimony from the administration, the White House ordered current and former executive branch officials and agencies not to comply.
The White House argued that the subpoenas were an undue burden, and that the judiciary needed to weigh in to enforce the subpoenas.
But Napolitano noted that the Constitution gives the House of Representatives the "sole power" to impeach federal officials.
"The House does not need the approval of the judiciary to obtain evidence of impeachable offenses from executive branch officials," he wrote.
In all, the House made "valid, lawful, constitutional arguments" for the president's impeachment, he said.
Napolitano wrote: "What is required for removal of the president? A demonstration of presidential commission of high crimes and misdemeanors, of which in Trump's case the evidence is ample and uncontradicted."
Read the original article on Business Insider