House Intel Panel Demands White House Provide Obama Wiretap Proof By Monday
While president Trump has not repeated his stunning allegation from last weekend that Obama bugged the Trump Tower before the election, on Saturday House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) submitted a letter to the White House demanding that it offer any evidence showing Trump Tower was wiretapped by Monday the AP reports.
As The Hill adds, Trump has kept his distance from the press since last weekend, when he accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower before the November election. Trump did not provide any evidence of the claim, and a spokesperson for Obama denied that he or any White House official called for the surveillance. The White House has asked that an investigation of the alleged wiretaps be part of the probe into Russia’s interference in the presidential election.
Nunes has said that the intelligence panel would investigate potential surveillance of political parties as part of its Russia inquiry. Democrats have slammed Trump for the accusations, with Schiff calling them “outlandish” and destructive.”
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House panel, said on ABC’s “This Week” that he expected to see no such evidence and suggested that none existed. He said he hopes to put the matter to rest on March 20, when FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify before the committee. “Either the president quite deliberately for some reason made up the charge or, perhaps more disturbing, the president really believes this,” Schiff said on ABC.
On Sunday morning, in a similar push for clarity surrounding Trump’s wiretapping claims, in an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. John McCain said President Trump either has to retract his claim that Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower, or provide evidence of the allegations.
“President Trump has to provide the American people, not just the intelligence community, but the American people, with evidence that his predecessor, former president of the Unites States was guilty of breaking the law,” McCain told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
McCain said on Sunday that if Obama “violated the law” by ordering a wiretap, then “we’ve got a serious issue.”
“I have no reason to believe that the charge is true, but I also believe that the president of the Unites States could clear this up in a minute,” McCain said, adding that Trump could call the director of the CIA and the director of national intelligence for proof.
For now, the White House hasn’t provided evidence for the claim, saying it won’t comment beyond asking the relevant congressional committees to look into the allegations as part of their probes into allegations that Russia tried to help Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
Since then, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign, instead told a conservative radio host on March 9 that he was open to naming a outside counsel to look into the Justice Department under Obama. On Friday, Sessions asked 46 U.S. attorneys who were appointed by Obama to resign.
Meanwhile, following James Comey’s plea to the DOJ last Sunday afternoon that the Justice Department deny Trump’s wiretapping allegations, so far the DOJ has failed to do as requested.