Politics

Deadline For DOJ Proof Of Obama Wiretapping Arrives

| by Denise Recalde

The House Intelligence Committee has set a deadline of March 13 for the Department of Justice to present evidence of President Donald Trump's wiretapping allegations. 

The president accuses the Obama administration of having wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower in the weeks before the presidential election.

In addition to setting the deadline, the House Intelligence Committee sought to acquire all Russia-related records from the intelligence community, CNN reports.

A representative of former President Barack Obama denied the allegations, made on March 4, with Obama's former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, also openly refuting them. 

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On March 12, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway talked in a televised interview of a wider spying of the Trump campaign, which may have included TVs and microwave ovens. She did not provide any proof, and clarified she was speaking about surveillance in general terms. 

Leading up to the deadline, political and government leaders called on Trump to provide evidence of his allegations.

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona has said Trump needs to give proof of his claim.

"I think the president has one of two choices: either retract or to provide the information that the American people deserve, because if his predecessor violated the law, President Obama violated the law, we have got a serious issue here to say the least," McCain said, reports The Guardian.  

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The congressional committee communicated the deadline to the Justice Department in a letter authored by House committee chairman, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, and the top ranking Democrat of the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a senior congressional aide said on Mar. 11. 

The committee is responding to the president's call for a congressional investigation looking into the matter, Schiff said. 

On March 12, Schiff expressed doubts that proof of the wiretapping exists but that FBI Director James Comey and others set to testify at an upcoming congressional hearing "would be in a position to have to know."

“I think on March 20 if not before we’ll be able to put this to rest,” Schiff said in an interview with  George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week." “I don’t think anyone has any question about this, George. The only question is why the president would make up such a thing.”

McCain said the president could "clear this up in a minute" by calling "the director of the CIA, director of national intelligence and say, 'OK, what happened?'"

"I do believe on issues such as this, accusing a former president of the United States of something which is not only illegal, but just unheard of, that requires corroboration. I’ll let the American people be the judge, but this is serious stuff," McCain said.

Sources: CNN, The Guardian / Photo credit: Chester L. Roberts/Wikimedia Commons

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