President Donald Trump’s recent claims of former President Barack Obama illegally monitoring communications at Trump Tower have dominated the news since the moment of his first now-famous tweet about wiretapping.
Before dawn on March 4, in the span of 27 minutes, Trump accused Obama four times of wiretapping prior to the 2016 election. For a sitting president to accuse a former president of an impeachable crime is historic. For Trump to do it via Twitter, rather than through legal channels, is highly disconcerting to Democrats and Republicans alike.
Trump subsequently asked Congress to investigate the matter while declining to provide proof, evidence, or sources for the credibility of his claim. On Sunday, the House Intelligence Committee called for a showdown, according to the U.K Daily Mail.
In a letter sent to the Justice Department, committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Cal., and Rep. Adam Schiff., D-Cal., the committee’s ranking Democrat, have demanded evidence to support Trump’s explosive claim by Monday, according to ABC News — or want him to take the claim back.
The letter isn’t the first or only attempt by lawmakers to seek evidence of Trump’s claims. On behalf of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and ranking member Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., requested the wiretap paper trail from FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the ball is in Trump’s court.
“The president has one of two choices — either retract or provide the information that the American people deserve,” he said. “I have no reason to believe that the charge is true, but I also believe that the president of the United States could clear this up in a minute.”
Here are the tweets released by the president on March 4.
This is a big demand. The president knocked the political world on its ear when he went public about his suspicions that the Obama administration had him under surveillance at the height of the presidential campaign.
If the House Intelligence Committee gets its hands on proof of the charge, or Trump retracts it, the country is going to be seeing history made — in a way no one expected.
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