• Andrew Napolitano says there's "undisputed evidence" Trump abused his power
  • Trump has not contested the facts and evidence supporting his impeachment
  • Because of this "the remedy of impeachment is acutely needed," according to Napolitano

Uncontested facts and "undisputed evidence" president Donald Trump abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress point to an acute need for "the remedy of impeachment," asserts Andrew Napolitano, Fox News legal analyst and former New Jersey Superior Court judge.

In a scathing and well-reasoned op-ed in the Washington Times, Napolitano said the facts underlying the impeachment charges against Trump are essentially uncontested by both Trump and the Republican Party. Proof of this is the refusal by Trump and his allies to participate in the Congressional hearings and their repeated disregard of lawful Congressional subpoenas.

Napolitano pointed out high crimes and misdemeanors have always been a legal basis for presidential impeachment. This proviso in the U.S. Constitution is the legal remedy for presidential behavior that subverts America's democratic institutions. By his actions in the Ukraine scandal, Trump clearly committed high crimes and misdemeanors, he contends.

"In Mr. Trump’s case, we have undisputed evidence that he abused his power by inviting a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 presidential election and then compounded this by directing subordinates to refrain from giving congressionally commanded evidence of his behavior," Napolitano wrote.

"It is undisputed that Mr. Trump withheld the delivery of the $391 million in military aid to Ukraine that Congress authorized and ordered and that Mr. Trump himself signed into law."

Napolitano noted that Trump withheld the aid in return for "a favor" -- the announcement of a Ukrainian government investigation on former Vice President Joe Biden.

He blasted Trump's actions as a "shakedown" since they sought to enhance Trump’s personal political needs and had nothing to do with advancing American foreign policy.

He emphasized Trump's behavior implicates two crimes. The first is the federal prohibition on soliciting campaign aid from a foreign government -- whether the aid arrives or not. It did not in this case. Trump's other crime is bribery, which Napolitano describesd as the exploitation of public duties for personal gain.

"Bribery consists of the intentional refusal to perform a required public duty -- here, releasing the $391 million to Ukraine -- until a personal thing of value -- here, the announcement of the Ukrainian investigation of Mr. Biden -- arrives. The crime of bribery is complete when the thing of value is solicited, whether it arrives or not. It did not."

Napolitano noted the other crimes implicated by Trump’s behavior took place after he was accused of the first two. These crimes include directing his subordinates to disregard lawfully issued and validly served congressional subpoenas that sought testimony, documents and electronic records of Trump's behavior.

The US impeachment vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate
The US impeachment vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate AFP / Gal ROMA

He said the facts underlying the charges against Trump are essentially uncontested because Trump refused to participate in the House investigation that resulted in the construction of the articles of impeachment against him "except for his tweets and bluster and the Republicans’ personal attacks on House Democratic committee chairs."

In closing, Napolitano said, "The framers’ greatest fear was a president who would unlawfully put his own needs above the nation’s or who would drag a foreign government into our domestic affairs. Mr. Trump has tried to do both and threatened to repeat those attempts. That’s why the remedy of impeachment is acutely needed."

The op-ed was published on Wednesday, the same day the House is expected to vote on articles of impeachment charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump will likely be impeached by the Democrat-controlled House. An impeachment trial in the Republican-dominated Senate will follow in January 2020.