The Justice Department has said in a court filing that there is no evidence to support President Donald Trump’s assertion that the previous presidential administration wiretapped his headquarters in New York City’s Trump Tower.
In a motion filed Friday, the Justice Department said “both FBI and NSD [the Justice Department’s national security division] confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017, tweets” made by Trump, alleging former President Barack Obama’s administration eavesdropped on him before the 2016 election.
Trump’s tweet read: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
Trump added in another tweet, “How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate.”
Trump was referring to the breaking-and-entering scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon in the early 1970s, forcing him to resign in shame.
A spokesman for Obama, Kevin Lewis, responded to the tweets by saying Trump’s allegation was “simply false.”
Friday’s motion was a response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by a group called American Oversight, which pushes for government transparency.
After Trump’s allegations on March 4, then-FBI Director James Comey told Congress in a House intelligence committee hearing that there was no evidence to support Trump’s claim.
American Oversight noted Comey’s remarks in its response to Friday’s motion, stating, “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.”
The American Oversight query was “broader than the subject” of Trump’s March 4 tweets, Justice Department official G. Bradley Weinsheimer wrote in the motion, so the Department of Justice could not respond to other portions of the request.
The motion filed on Friday says the Justice Department response does not “confirm or deny” existence of other records that might be relevant to American Oversight’s request but must be withheld due to national security concerns, including disclosing “intelligence sources and methods.”