Oversight Chair Chaffetz: ‘I Have Not Seen Anything’ To Support Trump’s Claim

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Over the course of two interviews Monday morning, House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said he had not seen any evidence to “directly” support President Donald Trump’s claim that former President Obama ordered wiretaps on him. But, he said, “this stuff does happen and it’s not necessarily done the legal, lawful way.”

“I learned a long time ago, I’m going to keep my eyes wide open. You never know when you turn a corner what you may or may not see,” Chaffetz told “CBS This Morning.” “Thus far, I have not seen anything directly that would support what the president has said.”

Chaffetz also said “the paper trail should be there” if, in fact, a court approved the tapping of Trump’s phones, and that the House Oversight Committee would “play a supporting role” to the House Intelligence Committee in investigating Trump claim. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has already announced he will investigate whether Trump was wiretapped.

Still, in an appearance on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning, Chaffetz was much more direct in raising the possibility that the Obama administration could have tapped Trump’s communications.

“We’ve had experience that the Obama administration’s been notorious on this type of stuff,” he said, before referencing Fox News reporter James Rosen, whom the FBI had investigated as part of a probe of leaked classified information.

“Let’s remember what they did with James Rosen. Let’s remember that the IRS did target Americans based on their political beliefs,” Chaffetz said. “And in my own personal case, I had more than 40 – 40 – Secret Service agents illegally tap into my records and dive into my background, and that’s according to the inspector general.”

Secret Service agents improperly accessed Chaffetz’s own failed application to join the agency, amid heavy scrutiny from Chaffetz and others of its behavior in separate cases. It was seen by some as an attempt to intimidate Chaffetz.

“This stuff does happen and it’s not necessarily done the legal, lawful way. And yeah, so we’re going to take a look at it,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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