MARCH 7, 2017 8:05 PM
House intel committee will probe Trump’s wiretap accusation against Obama
House intelligence committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said on Tuesday he has not seen any evidence to back President Donald Trump's claim that the Obama administration wiretapped him during the 2016 campaign and suggested the news media were taking the president's tweets too literally. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, "Is it legal for a sitting President to be 'wire tapping' a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!" AP
The House intelligence committee will investigate President Donald Trump’s claim that Barack Obama ordered his phones tapped during the closing days of last year’s presidential election campaign, the committee’s chairman announced Tuesday.
Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican, said the claim would be part of the committee’s first open hearing on Russian meddling in the U.S. election, which is now set for March 20. The witness list for that hearing, Nunes said, includes the heads, or former heads, of most of the major American intelligence agencies and may grow.
Nunes acknowledged that he had seen no evidence to back Trump’s claim of wiretapping. But he said the allegation is “quite serious” and in need of investigation.
“I haven’t talked to the president about it,” Nunes said. “They have asked us to look into it, but we were going to look into it anyway.”
The decision by the House intelligence committee to probe the allegation was a bipartisan one, said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top ranking Democrat on the committee. At a separate news conference, he welcomed the chance to investigate the president’s accusation against his predecessor.
“The president has said this is a scandal that is worse than Watergate, that his predecessor engaged in an illegal wiretap of his campaign. That is one potential scandal,” Schiff said.
But what he called “the alternative” result would also be scandalous if it is determined that Trump made the accusation with no evidence.
“We should be able to determine in fairly short order whether these accusations are true or false,” he said. <SNIP>
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