Senators requested information from the FBI and Justice Department on Wednesday to get to the bottom of President Donald Trump's claim he was being surveilled by the Barack Obama administration during the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign.
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) penned a letter to FBI Director James Comey and Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente to request that the Justice Department provide:
“...copies of any warrant applications and court orders—redacted as necessary to protect intelligence sources and methods that may be compromised by disclosure, and to protect any ongoing investigations—related to wiretaps of President Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower.”
“We would be equally alarmed to learn that a court found enough evidence of criminal activity or contact with a foreign power to legally authorize a wiretap of President Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower,” the senators added.
In addition, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee requested on Wednesday a briefing from the FBI to understand the scope of Trump's allegation.
In a letter to Comey, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), along with several of his colleagues, wrote, “we now see allegations from the President himself that he and his associates were placed under surveillance during the 2016 campaign,” adding later:
“To these ends, we again request a briefing regarding Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election, and additionally, on the very serious allegations that the President and/or his associates were or are under surveillance.”
Goodlatte's letter also requested that Comey “address why information on any of these matters — which is presumably classified — continues to leak.”
Without any evidence present, Trump made the claim on Twitter Saturday morning that Obama had wiretapped his offices during the campaign.
Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis responded to the allegation, saying that “a cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.”
“As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” he added.