Lindsey Graham: Obama Wiretap of Trump’s Phones Would Be ‘Biggest Political Scandal Since Watergate’

President Trump launched a ferocious tweet storm against former President Obama on Saturday morning, accusing him of wiretapping phones in Trump Tower.

Trump offered no proof of the extraordinary charge, but it was clear from his series of tweets that he was angry — to the point of calling Obama a “bad (or sick) guy”:

During a town hall meeting in South Carolina Saturday night, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told the raucous crowd that if the charges prove to be true, it would be the biggest political scandal since Richard Nixon’s Watergate.

“The President of the United States is claiming that the former President of the United States ordered wiretapping of his campaign last year.

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but if it is true, illegally, it would be the biggest political scandal since Watergate.”

Apparent anti-Trump attendees interrupted and laughed, yelling about alleged Trump campaign ties to Russia, but Graham persisted.

“The other side of the story — just be quiet, be quiet for a second. If the former president of the United States was able to obtain a warrant lawfully, to monitor Trump’s campaign for violating law, that would be the biggest scandal since Watergate.”

Graham said he was worried about the ramifications of the accusations.

“I’m very worried that our president is suggesting that the former president has done something illegal. I would be very worried if, in fact, the Obama Administration was able to obtain a warrant lawfully about Trump campaign activity with foreign governments.”

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy explained, in a January post, the requirements for obtaining a FISA (Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act) wiretap authorization.

A traditional wiretap requires evidence amounting to probable cause of commission of a crime.

A FISA wiretap requires no showing of a crime, just evidence amounting to probable cause that the target of the wiretap is an agent of a foreign power.

(A foreign power can be another country or a foreign terrorist organization.)

As the story mushroomed, former Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis offered a somewhat curious denial of Trump’s accusation — flatly denying that Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower phones but not denying that it didn’t happen.

“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.”

More curious is that Jon Favreau, former director of speechwriting for Obama, posted an “interesting” tweet in response to Lewis’ statement:

Regardless of how this latest controversy plays out, it’s been a fascinating week of cat-and-mouse between President Trump and the Democrats — now including Barack Obama, directly.

First, Trump scores with a speech that was, by most counts, well received on both sides of the political spectrum. Then, Democrats knock positive coverage of the speech out of the news cycle with the Sessions-Russia story. Not to be outdone, Trump comes right back and accuses Obama of wiretapping his campaign headquarters.

Buckle up, America. It promises to be a very interesting — if not entertaining — week.

What do you think?

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