Fox News analyst says the Trump Tower meeting could amount to criminal conspiracy

Judge Napolitano on Fox.
(Image credit: Screenshot/Fox News)

If President Trump watched his favorite morning show Tuesday, he was in for a rude surprise. Fox & Friends invited senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, a former judge, to weigh in on the 2016 meeting between the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Kremlin-linked attorney at Trump Tower.

Opposition research isn't against the law, Napolitano explained, but there are "federal statutes that prohibit receiving something of value from a foreign national, foreign entity, or foreign government." Whether "the purpose of this meeting was to receive something of value" will be up to Special Counsel Robert Mueller to determine, he said.

Crucially, Napolitano continued, the criminality of the meeting does not depend on whether anything of value was actually obtained: "So if there was an agreement to receive dirt on Hillary [Clinton], from the Russians, even if the dirt never came, if those who agreed, at least one of them, took some step in furtherance of the agreement, then there is the potential crime for conspiracy." In a tweet about the meeting Sunday, Trump emphasized that the arrangement with the Russian lawyer "went nowhere."

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Watch Napolitano's comments in context below. Bonnie Kristian

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.