The US Justice Department said in a court filing that it has no evidence to support President Donald Trump’s assertion in March that his predecessor Barack Obama, wiretapped the phones in Trump Tower before last year’s presidential election.
“Both FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and the NSD (National Security Division) confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017, tweets,” the department’s motion said on Saturday.
The motion came in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by a group pushing for government transparency, American Oversight, reports CNN.
On March 4, Trump tweeted: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
“How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process,” Trump also tweeted. “This is Nixon/Watergate.”
Former FBI Director James Comey told the Congress in March there was no evidence to support the contention that Trump Tower had been wiretapped.
American Oversight said in a statement following the Justice Department’s motion: “The FBI and Department of Justice have now sided with former Director Comey and confirmed in writing that President Trump lied when he tweeted the former President Obama ‘wiretapped’ him at Trump Tower,” reports CNN.
The Justice Department also said in the motion that along with the FBI, it does “not confirm or deny the existence” of any other records that are responsive to the group’s request, which was broader than the alleged wiretaps of Trump Tower.
The disclosure of the existence or non-existence of other responsive records “would cause harm to national security” and is therefore exempted under the law, the motion said.