Documents obtained by an anti-secrecy organization reveal that the FBI and Department of Justice have no evidence for the claim that former President Barack Obama wire-tapped then-candidate Donald Trump.
A statement issued today by American Oversight begins:
The Department of Justice confirmed in a court filing on Friday evening that neither the DOJ nor the FBI have any records supporting President Trump’s tweeted assertion that Trump Tower was “wiretapped.”
American Oversight is referencing a recent court filing in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.
The government’s Motion for Summary Judgment contains at least three statements denying the existence of any records related to Trump’s somewhat controversial wire-tapping claims.
A joint statement by the FBI and the Department of Justice’s National Security Division (NSD) states:
Both FBI and NSD confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017 tweets.
Another statement made by the NSD’s Director of Risk Management and Strategy, G. Bradley Weinsheimer, reads:
[T]he Department of Justice — including NSD — has no records responsive to Plaintiff’s request inasmuch as it seeks records of alleged wiretapping of then-Candidate Trump in Trump Tower by President Obama prior to the election, as referenced in the March 4, 2017, tweet.
Finally, a statement from the FBI’s Chief Record/Information Dissemination Section Records Manager David M. Hardy more or less repeats the denial. It says:
[T]he FBI has no records responsive to Plaintiff’s request inasmuch as it seeks records of alleged wiretapping of Trump Tower by President Obama prior to the election, as referenced in the March 4th tweet. Out of an abundance of caution, FBI personnel confirmed this by consulting with personnel knowledgeable about Director Comey’s statements and the surveillance activities of the FBI and confirmed that no such records exist.
This is apparently the first time that the Department of Justice has officially weighed in on the matter.
Former FBI Director James Comey said essentially the same thing about Trump’s “wires tapped” tweet almost immediately after the president hit ‘send’ on Twitter dot com. He then reiterated that same point on March 20, 2017 in testimony to Congress.
American Oversight’s Executive Director responded triumphantly to the court filing. He wrote, “The FBI and Department of Justice have now sided with former Director Comey and confirmed in writing that President Trump lied when he tweeted that former President Obama ‘wiretapped’ him at Trump Tower. As the president and his legal team continue their smear campaign against Mr. Comey, Special Counsel Mueller and others investigating him, this filing confirms that even Trump’s own Department of Justice does not believe he has credibility on a key element of the Russia investigation.”
[image via screengrab]