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Crain's Chicago Business: Prove it or apologize, Quigley tells Trump on wiretapping

Mar 16, 2017
In the News

The following article was published on March 16, 2017. A link to the article can be found here.

By Greg Hinz

The only Illinois member of the House Intelligence Committee has formally moved to obtain any proof that former President Barack Obama illegally ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower—and has called on President Donald Trump to apologize if no such evidence exists.

As Democrats and Republicans step up questions about Trump's tweeted claims, U.S. Rep. Michael Quigley, D-Chicago, filed a resolution calling on the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to release any "document, record, memo, correspondence or other communication" that supports the assertion.

"If the White House and Department of Justice are unable to produce this evidence, as I suspect will be the case," Quigley said on the House floor, "the president owes the American people a thorough and immediate explanation and apology."

According to Quigley's office, the "resolution of inquiry" will be referred to the Judiciary Committee, which must take it up within 14 session days or the measure automatically will come to the floor for a vote.

Quigley has been more quiet than other Democrats on the wiretapping claims and the subject of Russian involvement in Trump's election. But just yesterday, the GOP chairman of the intelligence panel, Devin Nunes, said he doubts any such wiretapping occurred. Meanwhile, Trump aides have suggested that other types of intelligence surveillance may have been involved.

Quigley does not seem inclined to let Trump's repeated attacks on Obama quietly pass.

The remarks "should be taken literally and seriously," Quigley said. "As a member of the Intelligence Committee, I have absolutely no evidence that supports the president's claims. President Trump and the Department of Justice have a responsibility to completely clarify the president's statements."

Trump himself has suggested that more news is coming. Perhaps we'll know when next week, when the intelligence panel is due to publicly question top law enforcement officials about this and related matters.