Fox News chief judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano on Thursday wasn’t happy about the decision from a group of House Republicans to file articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, calling the move “symbolic” and “baseless.”
Appearing on “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning, Napolitano explained that the conservative lawmakers championing this attempt to impeach Rosenstein are wrong to do so, arguing that the Constitution lays out a very narrow cause for impeachment, and that the behavior of the deputy AG doesn’t meet the criteria.
The push for Rosenstein’s impeachment came after lawmakers argued that the Justice Department is inappropriately withholding documents related to the Russia investigation and potential anti-Trump bias in the intelligence community.
But Napolitano wasn’t impressed.
“Those are good arguments for ethical violations, but not for impeachable offenses,” he argued.
Watch Andrew Napolitano’s analysis of the motion to impeach Rod Rosenstein on “Fox & Friends” below:
Cohost Steve Doocy explained that the Justice Department will be handing over some of the documents and asked what else lawmakers are supposed to do to force Rosenstein to comply with the information requests.
But Napolitano argued that impeaching Rosenstein is the wrong course of action, and that the Justice Department could have credible reasons for keeping some documents under lock and key.
“They are going to cough them up because of threats like this, which are in my opinion wrong and baseless, but embarrassing for everybody involved,” he said. “The DOJ has a legitimate lawful basis for keeping certain documents secret in a pending investigation. I want this Mueller thing over as soon as possible. But it is still pending. And you would be interfering with it if you forced the public revelation of some of those documents.”
Napolitano went on to say that the impeachment proceedings against the deputy AG will likely lead to nothing, but that it could be a “red badge of courage” for Rosenstein trying to defend the integrity of the Justice Department.
Rosenstein has been overseeing the Russia probe since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, but as the special counsel investigation heads into its fourteenth month, many GOP lawmakers are pushing for an end to the inquiry.