Judge Andrew Napolitano has weighed in on the forthcoming release of the Mueller report, providing a legal explanation for why it’s paramount that Attorney General William Barr keep some elements of the investigation private.
The Fox News contributor made the case as Democrats are planning to subpoena the unredacted Mueller report, which will put the Attorney General in a position with several options.
“When the subpoena arrives, the Attorney General can ignore it. Knowing him, I don’t think he will,” Judge Nap said Tuesday morning on “Fox & Friends.”
“He will say ‘We’re not going to comply,’ or he will move to a federal judge to cross the subpoena and the whole thing will go from Congress to a federal judge.”
He added that under United States law, there are certain details of the report that Barr is prohibited from revealing, including details about individuals connected to the investigation who have not been charged with any crime.
“He can’t release materials about ongoing investigations, classified materials, disputes among prosecutors as to the meaning of the law,” Napolitano continued.
“So there’s 400 pages in there, expect nearly half of them. And there may be people in there we don’t know about. Remember, Bob Mueller indicted 37 people and probably investigated more than that and many of them were not indicted, and material about them can’t be released.”
Judge Nap went on to discuss how James Comey violated the section of federal rules of criminal procedure which prohibits the release of information on those not being charged when he went public about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account when she was secretary of state.
He added the Democratic push for the full release of the Mueller report is not a legal argument at this point, but a political one.
“Democrats want to know what is in there that is negative about the President, but not negative enough to meet the level of beyond a reasonable doubt that prosecutors have to meet in order to charge him. They don’t need to know it, they want to know it for political reasons.”
Should the subpoena for the unredacted report move on to a federal judge, the judge will have to decide whether or not the public’s right to know the full results of the Mueller investigation outweights President Trump’s right to privacy. Trump, however, said last week that he didn’t care if the report was released.
“That could be considered a waiver of his right to privacy,” Judge Napolitano said.