WASHINGTON – The United States Justice Department on Friday handed a dossier to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees with information on President Donald Trump’s claims that his predecessor, Barack Obama, spied on him, Republican Devin Nunes confirmed.
Nunes, who is the chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said he was satisfied with the information provided by the government on the “possible” surveillance of Trump and his associates.
Nunes had warned the Justice Department that if it once again failed to meet the deadline for handing over the documents – initially scheduled for Monday – and did not provide evidence of the claims, the panel could use its subpoena power to gather the information.
However, Nunes did not clarify if the content of the report handed over by the justice department confirms the accusations made by Trump against Obama, although government officials cited by CNN said it did not confirm it.
During the next few days, the Congress will begin its first public hearings on alleged Russian interference in the last US elections and the alleged contact between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Nunes had asked the government and US intelligence agencies (CIA, NSA and FBI) to submit the documents before the start of the hearings.
On March 4, Trump accused Obama of having “tapped” his phone lines at Trump Tower during the election campaign – which the latter denied – and asked the Congress to investigate his wiretapping claims.
The president, who offered no proof of his accusations, compared them to the Watergate scandal that led to former US president Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974.
On Friday, in a tense joint appearance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump joked that “at least we have one thing in common perhaps,” meaning that they had both been spied upon by Obama, in reference to the mass surveillance program exposed by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden in 2013 affecting some European allies of the US.