Both the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee have requested that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI provide any evidence to substantiate President Donald Trump's accusation that former President Barack Obama had ordered a wiretap of his 2016 campaign.
On Mar. 8, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island submitted a letter to both acting deputy attorney general Dana Boente and FBI Director James Comey requesting that their committee be provided with any existing applications for surveillance of the Trump campaign, The Hill reports.
"We request that the Department of Justice provide us copies of any warrant applications and court orders ... related to wiretaps of President Trump, the Trump campaign, or Trump Tower," Graham and Whitehouse wrote.
On Mar. 4, Trump took to social media to level the serious accusation that Obama had ordered surveillance of Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential race.
"Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory," Trump tweeted out. "Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"
The White House has not provided any evidence to substantiate the president's accusation. Both Comey and former director of national intelligence James Clapper have dismissed that any wiretap of the Trump campaign ever took place.
Graham had previously pledged that the Senate Judiciary Committee would investigate Trump's accusation.
"He's challenged the Congress to look into this, and I will, along with Sen. Whitehouse, look into whether or not there was any lawful warrant requested and received on the Trump campaign and whether or not there was any illegal activity regarding the Trump campaign."
On Mar. 4, hours after Trump levied his accusation on Twitter, Graham expressed grave concern about the allegation during a town hall with his South Carolina constituents, according to CNN.
Graham said that either of the two potential scenarios -- that Obama had illegally ordered a wiretap of the Trump campaign or that a federal judge had granted a legal warrant because of compelling evidence that the Trump campaign was engaged in illegal activity -- "would be the biggest scandal since Watergate."
The same day that both Graham and Whitehouse requested any potential applications for a wiretap, Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee forwarded their own request for Comey to brief them on the allegations, Politico reports.
"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," stated a letter submitted by the House committee to the FBI director.