Judge Nap on Possible Charges Against Petraeus: Why Prosecute Him?!
Judge Andrew Napolitano weighed in this morning on the ongoing federal investigation into one of the country's most decorated military leaders.
Former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus is being investigated for allegedly leaking classified information to his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
Petraeus resigned in 2012 after it surfaced that he had an extramarital affair with Broadwell.
The New York Times reported Friday that Justice Department prosecutors and the FBI are recommending the charges against Petraeus, who famously led the troop surge that turned the tide in the Iraq War.
Attorney General Eric Holder, appearing on ABC's "This Week," downplayed the report as Senate leaders rally to Petraeus' defense.
Holder pointed out that news reports based on information leaked by anonymous sources are “frequently inaccurate” and assured lawmakers that Petraeus would be treated fairly.
“I share their concern and assure them and the rest of America that any investigation will be done in a fair and appropriate way,” said Holder.
In a discussion with Martha MacCallum, Napolitano said he believes Holder is "irritated" over the leak to the New York Times. He said a decision of this magnitude "could only be made by the attorney general himself, or even the president."
MacCallum noted that the administration has left the investigation "hanging over Petraeus' head" for a long time, leading people to question the motive behind it.
Napolitano said "unfortunately" many current federal laws allow the government to bring charges without showing harm.
"There are 4,000 federal criminal statutes and many of them do not require the government to show any harm. Unfortunately, for General Petraeus and the rest of us, this is one of them," he said, adding that the length of this investigation makes him wonder whether the government is intentionally "drawing this out for some inappropriate purpose."
"For 600 years, the definition in England and the U.S. of crime had an element of harm. If you don't harm anybody, there's no crime. If there's no harm here. If the documents were given from one person with a security clearance to another, both American patriots, neither going to reveal those documents to someone that would harm Americans or American interests, why prosecute him?" he asked.
Watch the full discussion above.