There’s still no evidence — but an investigation into President Trump’s wild wiretapping claims might happen anyway.
The White House on Sunday demanded that Congress look into Trump’s groundless accusations of former President Obama spying on him — and some Republicans seemed receptive to it.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department remained silent, even after a report that FBI Director James Comey asked the agency to publicly shut down Trump’s demands.
In a cryptic statement, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer asked for answers to “reports” of the Obama administration allegedly abusing its powers before the 2016 election.
“Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling. President Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016. Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted,” the statement said.
The announcement came a day after Trump dropped explosive allegations of Obama ordering surveillance on Trump Tower before the election. But Trump delivered no evidence to back up his claim.
Comey believed the assertion was phony and asked the Justice Department to release a statement this weekend saying so, according to The New York TImes. But the department, led by Trump loyalist Jeff Sessions, has yet to say anything.
Trump came through on Sunday with no new evidence or statements about his baseless bombshell.
But at least three Republicans sitting on intelligence committees said they’d follow Trump’s newest whims.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the group will look into the claims as part of its wider probe into Russia’s alleged hacking of the campaign.
“One of the focus points of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation is the U.S. government’s response to actions taken by Russian intelligence agents during the presidential campaign,” Nunes said in a statement.
“As such, the Committee will make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party’s campaign officials or surrogates, and we will continue to investigate this issue if the evidence warrants it.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, admitted on “Fox News Sunday” he had seen “no evidence” of Trump’s allegations, but said his colleagues will look into it anyway.
“We are going to review allegations of any kind of improper contacts between Russian officials and campaign officials or other American citizens. I’m sure that we will be reviewing any allegations such as this,” Cotton said.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who sits on the same committee, told CNN he was “not sure what it is (Trump) is talking about” but that the committee would “gather the facts.”