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Freedom and truth have few champions the caliber of Andrew Napolitano. That Fox has, for the time being, canned the Judge tells you something about that network.

Fox News Channel has pulled legal analyst Andrew Napolitano from the air after disavowing his on-air claim that British intelligence officials had helped former President Barack Obama spy on Donald Trump.

A person with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because it was a personnel matter said Napolitano has been benched and won’t be appearing on the air in the near future. Fox had no immediate comment Monday.

Napolitano’s report last week on “Fox & Friends,” saying he had three intelligence sources who said Obama went “outside the chain of command” to watch Trump, provoked an international incident. Britain dismissed the report as “nonsense” after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer quoted it in a briefing, part of the administration’s continued defense of Trump’s unproven contention that Obama had wiretapped him at Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Napolitano is beyond popular. He will be back – either on Fox or some other, newer, better venue. When he is proven correct – and there’s no doubt about underlying surveillance anyway – Fox may have some egg on their legs.

Andrew Napolitano

AP / Richard Drew.