Senate panel to probe Trump's wiretap claim

Senate panel to probe Trump's wiretap claim
© Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Barr’s first task as AG: Look at former FBI leaders’ conduct Debate builds over making Mueller report public MORE (R-S.C.) said Monday that a panel he oversees will look into President Trump's claim that the Obama administration wiretapped him.

"He's challenged the Congress to look into this and I will, along with Sen. Whitehouse, look into whether or not there was any lawful warrant requested and received on the Trump campaign and whether or not there was any illegal activity regarding the Trump campaign," Graham told reporters. 

Graham and Democratic Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Dem calls for Cohen to testify before Senate panel over explosive report Speculation swirls over candidates to succeed Rosenstein MORE (R.I.) are the top two members on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump appeared to catch lawmakers off guard over the weekend when he tweeted that his predecessor "had my 'wires tapped.'"

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” he wrote.

GOP lawmakers have called on Trump to explain his tweets, which were offered without evidence to back up his claims.

Trump aides have also called on Congress to investigate if the Obama administration wiretapped the Trump campaign as part of a larger probe into Russia and the 2016 election. 

Graham on Monday backed the push, saying that whether the wiretapping happened legally through a warrant approved by the foreign intelligence surveillance (FISA) court or illegally, it merits looking into. 

"It would be earth-shattering if the former administration illegally wire tapped a campaign ... If the FISA court issued a warrant that would be pretty stunning to because they'd have to have probable cause," he said.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is separately conducting an investigation into allegations that Moscow meddled in the White House race to help Trump, including any contacts between his campaign and Russia.  

Two sources told CNN that FBI director James Comey asked the Justice Department to shoot down Trump's latest comments over the weekend.

Graham sidestepped weighing in on Comey's alleged request, but noted that a forthcoming letter from himself and Whitehouse would include asking him to confirm or deny the report.