And the ruling is in.
Former New Jersey Superior Court judge Andrew Napolitano (1987-1995) has been suspended indefinitely by Fox News for a comment he made on the air regarding former President Barack Obama’s alleged wiretapping scheme. Napolitano said that GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), a British intelligence agency, was responsible for wiretapping the Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign at Obama’s request. Napolitano also claimed that Obama had subsequently received transcripts from the intelligence agency. These outlandish accusations were never corroborated in advance, and Napolitano hasn’t been seen on the Fox News Channel since last Thursday.
The former judge wrote about his unproven and unverified conspiracy theory on FoxNews.com: “By bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no Obama administration fingerprints.”
On Sunday, Fox News Channel’s MediaBuzz released a statement that had been made by Napolitano:“I reported what the sources told me, reported it accurately and I do believe the substance of what they told me.” These sources have yet to be disclosed.
To make matters worse, Napolitano also claimed that his allegations were verified by Fox News, when nothing could have been further from the truth. On Friday, chief news anchor Shepard Smith had this to say: “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.”
Fox News has neither confirmed nor denied whether the former judge had been relieved of his duties as a senior judicial analyst. Under normal circumstances, Napolitano would have been heavily involved in Monday’s confirmation coverage of the most recent SCOTUS nominee, Neil Gorsuch.
Napolitano’s claims have now become somewhat of an international incident; both the British intelligence agency and the government of the UK have vehemently denied these accusations.
When President Trump was asked about the entire ordeal during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, he had no problem indirectly naming Napolitano as his source of information: “You shouldn’t be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox News.”
As a result of all the speculation swirling around Capitol Hill, inquisitions by the House, the Senate, and a number of intelligence agencies have all concluded that no evidence of the Trump Tower wiretapping claim exists.
What this all amounts to for Trump and his administration is even more bad publicity, and it seems as though Donald Trump is someone whose unconventional approach to the presidency has landed him in hot water on a weekly basis since being inaugurated a little over two months ago. The president has yet to apologize or admit that he was flat out wrong to anyone, which is a strong indication that he’ll stay true to form in the future. But when it comes to the future of Andrew Napolitano being an employee of Fox News, the jury is still out on that one.