House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Monday that he has seen no evidence that would support President Donald Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama had ordered an illegal wiretap of Trump Tower during last year’s presidential campaign.
“I learned a long time ago, I’m going to keep my eyes wide open,” Chaffetz (R-Utah) said on “CBS This Morning.” “You never know when you turn a corner what you may or may not see. But thus far I have not seen anything directly that would support what the president has said.”
Trump made his explosive and unsubstantiated accusation on Saturday morning, when he wrote on Twitter that he had “just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.” While the president leveled the charge with certainty, White House officials have not yet offered any proof to back Trump’s claims and have instead called for a Congressional investigation to verify them.
Chaffetz was seemingly open to the notion of a Congressional inquiry into Trump’s allegation, telling “CBS This Morning” that the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), would take the lead in checking it out. The House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz said, “will play a supporting role.”
And while he conceded that he had not yet seen any evidence to support Trump’s claim, Chaffetz seemed open to the idea that Trump might be in possession of some proof that has yet to come to light. Both Obama and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have flatly denied that such a wiretap was ever put into place, but the Utah lawmaker said Trump likely would not have made the accusation without some piece of evidence.
If Trump’s allegation is true, Chaffetz said, “the paper trail should be there” from whatever court authorized the wiretap.
“Look, it’s a very serious allegation. The president has at his fingertips tens of billions of dollars in intelligence apparatus,” he said. “I’ve got to believe — I think he might have something there, but if not, we’re going to find out.”