Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, confirmed that there is no evidence to support President Donald Trump’s wiretapping allegation against his predecessor Barack Obama before the 2016 election.
In a press conference, Nunes said, “We don’t have any evidence that [wiretapping] took place. 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.
“President Obama wouldn’t physically go over and wiretap Trump Tower,” he added. Furthermore, Nunes said if people would take Trump’s tweets literally, “clearly the President is wrong.”
Nunes emphasized that he remain more concerned about the issue in two fold. He said, “One, the incident of a collection of Americans that were possibly tied to the Trump campaign that could have been leaked similar to General Flynn and secondly, the unmasking of Americans’ names, potentially for political purposes.”
Trump wiretapping accusation was baseless
Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, a ranking member of the committee also stated that had not seen any proof to back Trump’s claim against Obama. “It deeply concerns me that the President would make such an accusation without basis,” he said.
Schiff also expected that the testimony of FBI Director James Comey on March 20 would prove that “there was no substance to the accusation” that the former president wiretapped the Trump Tower.
Earlier this month, Director Comey stated that Trump’s wiretapping claim against his predecessor was false and must be corrected. He requested the Department of Justice (DOJ) to refute his allegation.
Other Republican lawmakers also previously stated that they had not seen any evidence to support Trump’s wiretapping accusation. Cong. Jason Chaffetz and Cong. Trey Gowdy said if such surveillance happened, there would be a paper trail and the DOJ could release it.
The Justice Department failed to turn over any evidence supporting Trump’s accusation on Monday, the deadline given by the House Intelligence Committee. The agency asked for more time.
The White House requested the Congress to include the President’s wiretapping allegations to its ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The U.S. intelligence community concluded that the Russian government meddled to prevent then-candidate Hillary Clinton from winning the presidency. Russia favors Trump, who repeatedly expressed his admiration for Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin.
Trump is confident he would be vindicated
On Monday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump did not mean literaly that Obama wiretapped him.
Yesterday, Spicer the President is “extremely confident” that the evidence would vindicate him. “I think there’s significant reporting about surveillance techniques that existed throughout the 2016 election. He feels very confident that what will ultimately come of this will vindicate him.”
Immediately after Trump tweeted his wiretapping allegation, a spokesman for Obama responded, “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 US citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
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