(CNSNews.com ) – In a tweet last Saturday, President Trump accused President Obama of “wiretapping me.”
“I have no knowledge of that,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told MSNBC on Wednesday. “But he’s challenged the Congress to help him, so let’s help.”
Sens. Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) on Wednesday sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, asking them to “provide us copies of any warrant applications and court orders—redacted as necessary…related to wiretaps of President Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower.”
“There’s no reason for them not to give it to us,” Graham told MSNBC. “And if they don’t give it to us, yes, I’ll subpoena it.”
Graham said he is not trying to compromise classified information or the investigation, if there is one.
“This is a major deal for the country. I want to get to the bottom of it. And I think DOJ and the FBI director, that’s a reasonable request and I hope they comply.”
Graham said it’s not too much to ask if a warrant was issued against the Trump campaign for “illegal activity.”
“Congress is doing an investigation of all things Russia. And if there is an ongoing criminal investigation — and I have no idea if there is – (former DNI Director) Clapper said there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians on his watch. I don’t want to run into their investigation. I want to honor their investigation. So I can’t do this blindly.
“All I need to know is, if there is a criminal investigation, I want to stay away from it and let them do their job. If there’s not, then I’ll decide where to go.”
The full text of the March 8 letter signed by Graham and Whitehouse is printed below:
March 8, 2017
The Honorable Dana J. Boente
Acting Deputy Attorney General
The Honorable James B. Comey, Jr.
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Dear Deputy Attorney General Boente and Director Comey:
Congress must get to the bottom of President Trump’s recent allegation that President Obama wiretapped President Trump’s phones during the 2016 election. The White House agrees. On Sunday, President Trump requested, through Press Secretary Sean Spicer, that Congressional committees investigate whether executive branch investigative powers were abused during the Obama administration.
The President’s request was for the intelligence committees to look into this, but it is the Department of Justice’s criminal division that obtains warrants for wiretaps, and oversight of the criminal division lies with the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. Therefore, we request that the Department of Justice provide us copies of any warrant applications and court orders—redacted as necessary to protect intelligence sources and methods that may be compromised by disclosure, and to protect any ongoing investigations—related to wiretaps of President Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower. We will be glad to review any such applications and orders once they are disclosed, and proceed as appropriate with the oversight the President has requested.
As Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, we would take any abuse of wiretapping authorities for political purposes very seriously. We would be equally alarmed to learn that a court found enough evidence of criminal activity or contact with a foreign power to legally authorize a wiretap of President Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower. We look forward to your response.