Judge Andrew Napolitano returned to the Fox News airwaves after a two-week absence following a controversial statement about U.K. surveillance of the Donald Trump presidential campaign.
On March 14, Napolitano claimed on Fox & Friends that a British spy agency, GCHQ, wiretapped then-candidate Donald Trump at the request of President Obama so that Obama would avoid having any fingerprints on the operation. Napolitano insisted that he had three sources for the allegation.
After an uproar, Fox pulled the judge off the air, and it disavowed his accusation, with anchor Shepard Smith telling viewers that the network “cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary.”
The British government also issued a strong denial.
“Napolitano was taken off the air and management had addressed the matter with him, said people with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to comment,” the Los Angeles Times detailed, while noting that the judge was “conspicuously missing” from FNC’s coverage of the Neil Gorsuch Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
“In discussing the claims on several programs, Napolitano incorrectly asserted that the sources he was citing had spoken to Fox News,” the Times added.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Napolitano allegation came at an awkward time for the Rupert Murdoch-owned FNC parent 21st Century Fox, which is trying to take complete control of Sky News in the U.K. by buying the remaining 61 percent stake, a transaction needing approval from British regulators.
The libertarian-leaning former jurist, who is the network’s popular senior judicial analyst and considered a strong constitutionalist in terms of personal liberty, showed up in the studio with anchor Bill Hemmer on American’s Newsroom this morning primarily to discuss the charges against former Congressman Aaron Schock.
When asked, Judge Nap, as he is nicknamed, stood by his original statement about the British surveillance of Trump, Gateway Pundit and many other news outlets reported.
“Yes, I do, and the sources stand by it, and the American public needs to know more about this rather than less, because a lot of the government surveillance authorities will expire in the fall. And there will be a great debate about how much authority we want the government to have to surveil us, and the more the American public knows about this the more informed their and Congress’ decisions will be…I think a lot more is going to come (about the story).”
Earlier this month, President Trump took to Twitter to accuse Obama (and by extension, Obama administration operatives) of wiretapping Trump Tower in the run-up to Election 2016. Congress is probing this allegation as part of the investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the election. Rep. Devin Nunes, the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has suggested that some spying on the Trump campaign may have occurred as part of foreign intelligence gathering unrelated to Russia, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Napolitano was a New Jersey Superior Court judge from 1987 to 1995. He is a former law professor who has authored nine books.
Although the mainstream media has denounced Trump’s wiretapping claim, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said earlier this month that the president is extremely confident that he will be vindicated when the dust settles and all the evidence emerges on the alleged wiretaps.
There have already been reports in the Guardian and elsewhere that the FBI sought and obtained authority from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap the Trump campaign over alleged ties to Russia.
Obama already stands accused in several different published reports of setting a so-called shadow government up to undermine the Trump administration as a way to protect his own legacy.
Earlier today, the Inquisitr reported that an Obama administration appointee seemingly admitted that Donald Trump was being spied on by Democrats. Ex-Defense Department official Evelyn Farkas was giving an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe when she made this apparent admission.
Do you think that it is plausible that Obama used a British government intelligence-gathering service to spy on Trump and thereby avoid a paper trail from U.S. agencies?
[Featured Image by Richard Drew/AP Images]