The U.S. House Intelligence Committee is calling on President Donald Trump to produce evidence by Monday that the phones at Trump Tower were wiretapped during the presidential campaign.
The president went on a Twitter rant a week ago saying former president Barack Obama had the Trump Tower phones tapped, but Trump did not offer any evidence. The president tweeted, “Terrible. Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism.”
Committee chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, and Adam Schiff, also from California who is the committee’s ranking Democrat, sent a letter to Trump requesting the evidence to support his wiretap claim.
An Obama spokesman has said Trump’s charges are “simply false.”
Trump has not commented on the wiretaps since the tweets.
Under U.S. law, a president cannot order someone’s phone to be wiretapped. He would need approval by a federal judge and would also have to show reasonable grounds to suspect why a citizen’s telephone calls should be monitored.
The wiretap charges will likely come up in the Senate investigation into alleged Russian election interference and Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials.
U.S. intelligence has concluded Russia hacked into the computer of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta, with the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks then releasing thousands of his emails in the weeks before the election. It was apparently part of a Russian effort to help Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.