Capitol Hill’s questions about Trump wiretap claim yet to be answered

Speaking to the media Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said no evidence has surfaced to substantiate Donald Trump’s claim that former President Barack Obama ordered any U.S. intelligence agency to wiretap the then-GOP presidential nominee’s campaign.

Congressman Nunes’ comments come a day after Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at a White House press briefing Tuesday that President Trump is “extremely confident” the Justice Department will eventually be able to prove his assertion.

“[The] evidence still remains the same, that we don’t have any evidence that that took place,” Nunes said. “In fact, I don’t believe just in the last week of time, the people we’ve talked to, I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.”

Devin’s statement, combined with the recent comments of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that Mr. Trump produce evidence which proves his claim or stop furthering a false narrative, puts pressure on FBI Director James Comey to shed light on the matter when he appears at a scheduled committee hearing on Monday, March 20.

In addition, ranking Intelligence Committee Democrat, Adam Schiff (Calif.), sent a letter co-signed by Nunes to the heads of the FBI, CIA and NSA, asking for names by Friday of U.S. citizens who have been unintentionally subjected to foreign intelligence gathering methods.  Schiff said he expects full cooperation, but will use the power of congressional subpoena to get answers to the committee’s questions.

Rep. Nunes added that it was “very possible” Trump campaign communications could have been intercepted by U.S. intelligence while surveilling foreign agents, such as the Russian ambassador, who had been in contact with the now-president’s associates.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also said in a Wednesday interview on NBC that he will subpoena the Justice Department “to finally clear the air as to whether there was ever a warrant issued against the Trump campaign.”

Graham indicated that while he does not believe America’s domestic intelligence apparatus obtained the authority to listen-in on private Trump campaign conversations, there is now reason for concern because the FBI has yet to respond to a letter the South Carolina senator sent to Director Comey requesting information on the alleged incident.

While a House Intelligence Committee letter to DOJ seeking evidence about any attempt by the previous administration to spy on the Trump campaign has also yet to be answered, Attorney General Jeff Sessions told CBS News Wednesday he never “gave (Trump) any reason to believe Obama wiretapped him.”

 

Editor’s note: This article has been updated

 

[The Hill] [Reuters] [AP] [CNN] [NPR] [New York Daily News] [Image courtesy WITN.com]

Leave a Reply