Yesterday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to allege that President Barack Obama had ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower during the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign. This weekend, FBI director James Comey asked the Justice Department to publicly rebuke those allegations, arguing that they are “false and must be corrected.”
Citing “senior American officials,” The New York Times reported today that Comey has been working this weekend to convince the Justice Department to publicly dispute the claims, because “it falsely insinuates that the FBI broke the law.” The Department of Justice and FBI have refused to comment on the matter to the Times.
President Trump wrote the tweets after reportedly reading an article on Breitbart News that asserted that the Obama administration had used a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) warrant to monitor the Trump campaign in October, and has requested that Congress look into the allegations. A spokesperson for President Obama flatly denied the claims.
According to the Times, FBI officials are concerned about the implications of the allegations on expectations of their investigation, as well as their impact on the agency’s credibility.
It’s not clear if the Justice Department will respond to the request, or who could make such a statement. Earlier this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any involvement in the investigation of alleged Russian influences during the election.