Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano shamed Democratic Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Thursday for warning illegal immigrants of an impeding federal raid.
“It is difficult because the obstruction of justice charge is a catch-all. It can only be used when there is not a specific statute that applies. Here, there is a specific statute which applies which prohibits harboring a fugitive from justice or harboring an alien,” Napolitano said. “Now, it does not prohibit speaking to or warning the alien. It prohibits harboring. So I don’t believe she is a candidate for prosecution. Having said that, I believe that her behavior was reckless, irresponsible and dangerous for the federal agents who have to find these people.”
Varney took issue with Napolitano’s assessment and said he deems anyone an justice obstructor when they get in the way of the immigration authorities and try to help illegal immigrants escape capture.
“It is not obstruction of justice because obstruction of justice requires that there be a pending proceeding against these people,” Napolitano replied. “There aren’t even warrants for these people. The government has every right to arrest them, but it hasn’t gone to a judge and gotten a warrant; there is no judge sitting and waiting. Look, if I tackle somebody as they’re going into the courthouse and about to testify, that’s obstruction of justice. I have prevented a witness from attending a pending judicial proceeding. But if I tackle this person and there is no pending judicial proceeding, I can’t be charged.”
Acting ICE director Thomas Homan also criticized Schaaf on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday for putting his officers at risk. “What she did is no better than a gang lookout yelling police, when a police cruiser comes to the neighborhood, except she did it to the entire community. I mean, this is beyond the pale,” Homan said. “What she did is intentionally put law enforcement officers at risk. Look, being a law enforcement officer is dangerous enough. But to give criminals a head’s up we’re coming next 24 hours, increases the risk.”