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A view of Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan taken from the street and angled upwards to the top of the building
Donald Trump has been extremely vocal in claiming that Barack Obama ordered wiretaps on then-candidate Trump's NYC headquarters; image courtesy of Trump Tower Homepage

A group of lawyers is suing the Justice Department and FBI in attempt to resolve the controversy surrounding the President’s claim of being wiretapped by the Obama administration.

American Oversight, which is a nonpartisan and pro-transparency organization, is requesting records which would substantiate or definitively disprove Donald Trump’s wildfire and accusatory Tweets. They’ve also demanded records pertaining to alleged connections between some of the commander in chief’s campaign and cabinet associates and Russian intelligence officials.

“Nearly 100 days into President Trump’s term, there are more questions than answers about the president and his associate’s contacts with Russia,” said Austin Evers, the Executive Director of American Oversight. “It’s time for the administration to come clean with the American people.”

Lamenting the lack of headway made by House and Senate committees, Evers continued to say, “As congressional inquiries seem to be getting us nowhere, American Oversight is suing the government for information.”

Donald Trump’s belief that Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower has been widely criticized as baseless since it was first made. Investigations into the matter by Congress have come up empty-handed. Even prominent Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) have said they can’t find any evidence of malice on the part of the former administration.

FBI Director James Comey asked the Justice Department to “publicly rebuke” the President, who has persisted in furthering in the rumor after it was largely dismissed by Congress.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine (R) told NBC’s Meet the Press that “I don’t know the basis for President Trump’s assertion” and that “I do believe he owes us that explanation.”

Regardless of what Republican and Democratic legislators have said, President Trump has gone so far as to bring the possibility of wiretapping up in international discourse. During a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he made an awkward joke about how they had getting wiretapped in common – a reference to revelations that U.S. intelligence agencies had intercepted some of Merkel’s conversations.

Despite Trump’s many public statements, an earlier effort by American Oversight to obtain records from the Department of Justice by way of the Freedom of Information Act was denied. The DoJ said they were unable to confirm or deny the existence of any records relating to a possible wiretap on Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential elections.

“It is ludicrous for the Justice Department to claim it can’t confirm or deny the existence of records given that the president has declared they exist and the FBI director has denied it. Well, which is it?” asked Evers in a statement published by American Oversight. “The American people have a right to the truth.”

The second lawsuit filed by the organization is seeking information on White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus’s attempts to coerce the FBI into “rebutting” media reports about an ongoing investigation into the Trump’s campaigns supposed ties with Russia.

Sources

American Oversight Sues DOJ for Release of Trump Tower Wiretap Records, Russia Investigation Documents

Lawmakers: No evidence to back Trump’s wiretap claims against Obama

Trump’s Wiretap Tweets Bring Lawsuit Seeking Proof

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