Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano apparently bit off more than he could chew with his claims that former President Obama tapped British intelligence to wiretap Trump Tower.
A report that Fox News is suspending him indefinitely, according to the LA Times, has fans disappointed, but is it true?
One Fox News source told Mediaite late Monday that Judge Nap has not been suspended by the network.
The judge was “conspicuously missing” from Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings, “an event in which he typically would have played a significant role,” the Times reported.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) March 20, 2017
The report comes via anonymous sources close to the situation who also say Judge Nap isn’t expected to appear on Fox News anytime soon.
After President Trump’s wiretapping claims and the likelihood that proof of former President Obama’s involvement wouldn’t be forthcoming, Napolitano seemingly added fuel to the fire by claiming that unnamed sources told him that the British foreign surveillance agency “most likely” served as an untraceable intermediary between Obama and then-candidate Trump’s recorded calls.
When the judge kept sticking to his guns, on several programs and also in a written column, and couldn’t back it up with any proof, it became an embarrassment to Fox News.
From Napolitano’s column:
But if Obama did order the NSA to prepare transcripts of Trump’s conversations last fall under the pretext of national security — to find out whether Trump was communicating with the Russians would have been a good excuse — there would exist somewhere a record of such an order. For that reason, if Obama did this, he no doubt used a source on which he’d leave no fingerprints.
Enter James Bond.
Sources have told me that the British foreign surveillance service, the Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ, most likely provided Obama with transcripts of Trump’s calls. The NSA has given GCHQ full 24/7 access to its computers, so GCHQ — a foreign intelligence agency that, like the NSA, operates outside our constitutional norms — has the digital versions of all electronic communications made in America in 2016, including Trump’s. So by bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no Obama administration fingerprints.
In response, the British spy agency called Napolitano’s claims “utterly ridiculous,” saying they “should be ignored.”
Even fellow Fox News employees weren’t sticking with Judge Nap on this one. On Friday Shep Smith told viewers that “Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-president of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way.”
For his part, Napolitano continued to defend his comments on Fox News’ MediaBuzz on Sunday, saying that he “reported what the sources told me, reported it accurately and I do believe the substance of what they told me.”
It’s a real rock and a hard place situation for Judge Nap. While it’s hard to imagine the popular Fox News analyist making something like that up out of thin air, the fact is it probably should have gone unreported without solid proof, and since the nature of the claims involve clandestine intelligence agencies good at covering their tracks, that proof is highly unlikely to ever materialize.
That’s a shame for the judge and an even bigger shame for those of us who enjoyed his commentary.
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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