The clock is ticking. The top lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee have asked the Justice Department to turn over by Monday any evidence showing Trump Tower was wiretapped during the 2016 presidential race — an explosive accusation President Trump leveled at former President Obama without providing proof.
The request came in a letter sent last week to the acting deputy attorney general by the committee chairman, Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and its ranking Democrat, Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), congressional aides told NBC News. FBI chief James Comey, who reportedly asked the Justice Department to publicly reject Trump’s claim, was also sent a copy of the letter. Nunes has promised his panel would look into potential surveillance of political parties as part of its broader investigation of Russian meddling in the election.
Schiff has said he would ask Comey about Trump’s accusation when the FBI director appears at a House Intelligence hearing later this month. In an interview on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Schiff said he did not expect to see any evidence of wiretapping — but he added that Comey “would be in a position to have to know.” “I think on March 20, if not before, we’ll be able to put this to rest,” Schiff told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, referring to the date of the upcoming hearing. “I don’t think anyone has any question about this, George. The only question is why the president would make up such a thing.”