Fox's Napolitano Speculates That Possible Petraeus Demotion Is Intended “To Send Hillary Clinton A Message”

Andrew Napolitano: “What Is The President's Endgame Here? Is It Hillary Clinton Indicted And Not Running For President?”

From the January 21 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

Video file

HEATHER NAUERT (HOST): Two years ago, that was General David Petraeus apologizing for sharing classified information with his mistress, who was also his biographer. He then stepped down as director of the CIA and now, four years later there is word that the four-star general could be demoted to three stars. Joining me now, Fox News senior judicial analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano. Judge, why and why now?

ANDREW NAPOLITANO: Well, there's a lot of speculation as to why and why now. But one thing we have to remember is this is not just the removal of a star from a uniform he doesn't wear anymore, this is a reduction in pension of about $50,000 a year. This is also a substantial impairment of his legacy. And, remember --

NAUERT: Let's remind people, by the way, he's been out of the military since 2011.


NAUERT: Left the CIA -- resigned from the CIA in 2012.

NAPOLITANO: And, also to remind everyone, he was indicted, charged, convicted, pleaded guilty to --

NAUERT: A misdemeanor, right? 

NAPOLITANO: A misdemeanor. The original charge was a felony. Guess what it was? Failure to safeguard national security secrets. Does that sound familiar?

NAUERT: Hillary Clinton.

NAPOLITANO: Of course. What General Petraeus pleaded guilty to doing was keeping two loose leaf notebooks in an unlocked drawer in a desk in his house -- the house was guarded 24/7 by security personnel from the CIA -- and having his biographer in the house with him. They originally charged him with showing the documents to her. They eventually dropped those charges. 

NAUERT: But Judge, this is very rare for the military to demote a four-star general. Also, the Army declined the decision to demote him, so [Secretary of Defense] Ash Carter would review this and would make the decision himself to do it. So, why would they do this now?

NAPOLITANO: That's the great question. Is this political?  Is this to send him a message? Don't tell everybody what you know about Benghazi because we'll keep coming after you. Is it to send Hillary Clinton a message? This is what we do to people who misuse national security secrets. Is it to send the military a message? You can't get away with anything even if you're a four-star general. 

NAUERT: You know General Petraeus, you've spoken to him.

NAPOLITANO: Listen, I'm in an odd position of disagreeing with the war but knowing him, respecting him, believing he is a great man. He's brilliant and he's selfless. This is way too much. This is absolutely piling on. This is politically motivated, and quite frankly, I wish the secretary of defense would leave him alone. Now I have to say this, this could not happen --

NAUERT: So what do you think is going to happen? Do you think this will happen?

NAPOLITANO: I don't know, but it will only happen with the president's personal permission. Now, what is the president's endgame here? Is it Hillary Clinton indicted and not running for president? Is it Hillary Clinton somehow exonerated from having done thousands of times what General Petraeus was convicted of? More to come. 

NAUERT: OK. Just to look at the other side of this, though, Ash Carter says he has to come down hard on military officers who do things unbecoming of an officer. So he says he has to treat General Petraeus like he would other officers, even enlisted as well.


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