Justice Dept: No evidence of Trump Tower wiretapping

Justice Dept: No evidence of Trump Tower wiretapping
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The Justice Department confirmed in a court filing late Friday that neither it nor the FBI has evidence that Trump Tower was the target of surveillance efforts by the Obama administration during the 2016 presidential election.

The Motion for Summary Judgement was filed in D.C. District Court in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the watchdog group American Oversight, which is seeking government records of surveillance in Trump Tower.

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The motion confirms that neither the FBI nor the Justice Department's National Security Division have records documenting wiretaps as alleged by President Trump in a series of tweets earlier this year.

The Friday filing marked the Justice Department's first official denial of the substance of Trump's wiretapping allegations earlier this year.

In March, Trump wrote on Twitter that he had discovered that former President Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped during the runup to the November election, which he called "McCarthyism."

But the Trump administration did not provide evidence that such surveillance took place, and a spokesman for Obama rejected the assertion that the administration wiretapped the real estate mogul's building.

Likewise, former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired in May, denied that the Obama administration surveilled the Trump campaign. 

"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," Austin Evers, America Oversight's executive director, said in a statement.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in March that documents provided to lawmakers by the Justice Department provided no evidence to support the president's wiretapping claim. 

The Justice Department also said in the motion on Friday, however, that it could neither confirm nor deny the existence of other responsive records related to wiretaps that fall outside of those described by Trump in March.

Updated: 3:45 p.m.