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The Hill: Dem resolution asks Trump, Sessions for evidence of 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 Morgan Chalfant

A House Democrat on Thursday introduced a resolution asking President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to produce evidence of Trump’s allegation that former President Obama wiretapped him.

The move is the latest in a series of efforts by lawmakers to get to the bottom of Trump’s claims, which he lodged on Twitter nearly two weeks ago without evidence. 

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, introduced a special resolution of inquiry on Thursday requesting that Trump and Sessions give Congress any evidence to explain Trump’s claim that his predecessor illegally ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower ahead of the presidential election. 

Such evidence would include “copies of any document, record, memo, correspondence, or other communication in their possessions, or any portion of any such communication” that relates to Trump’s claims.
“As a member of the Intelligence Committee, I have seen absolutely no evidence that supports the president’s claims,” Quigley said on the House floor Thursday. “President Trump and the Department of Justice have a responsibility to completely clarify the President’s statements on Twitter.”

“If the White House and the Department of Justice are unable to produce this evidence, as I suspect will be the case, the president owes the American people a thorough and immediate explanation and apology,” he added.

The resolution is referred to the House Judiciary Committee, which must take it up for consideration within 14 legislative days, or else it will automatically go to the floor for a vote. 

Earlier this week, the Justice Department asked for more time to produce evidence bolstering Trump’s claims, in response to a request from leaders on the House intelligence panel. On Thursday, the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee said that they have seen “no indications” that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by the U.S. government before or after the election. 

The White House has defended the claims, though it moved to clarify them earlier this week, saying that Trump did not mean Obama personally engaged in surveillance against him or his associates but the Obama administration more broadly. 

On Thursday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump stood by the allegations. 

“There’s been a vast amount of reporting, which I just detailed, about activity that was going on during the 2016 election. There’s no question there were surveillance techniques used throughout this,” Spicer told reporters at the daily press briefing. 

“The president has already been very clear that he didn’t mean specifically wiretapping, he had it in quotes,” he said.