Columns

Oversight Chairman: Nothing to See on Trump's Voter Fraud Claims, But Wiretapping Worth a Look

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) questions a witness at a Feb. 3, 2016, hearing. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said he saw nothing to President Trump’s allegations of widespread voter fraud to warrant a congressional investigation, but his panel is going to look into Trump’s allegation of wiretapping because the commander in chief is “emphatic” about it.

Trump tweeted Saturday: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism! Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!”

“I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!” he continued. “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Monday that Trump is not amending what he tweeted.

“You saw over and over again the continued comments by people who are in the know or have been in the know on that situation saying that there was no knowledge of wiretapping in response to Trump’s tweets,” Spicer said, citing former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and key lawmakers. “…I think that’s why the president is asking Congress, the intelligence committees to use their oversight authority to further understand what’s in this.”

Trump tweeted at the end of November: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” He followed up this claim at the end of January, saying he’d ask Congress for a major investigation of voter fraud.

Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told CNN this morning that his committee doesn’t need to investigate everything.

“I don’t see any evidence of that. We’re not doing an investigation into that. So, sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t,” he said. “I’m not doing that. I really haven’t seen any — any evidence of that.”

“The federal government has 2 million-plus employees. We have 70. So we have to judiciously look at this one at a time. We can’t just investigate everything that’s ever thrown out there by the Democrats, by the Republicans. We have to pick and choose,” Chaffetz added.

On  Trump’s accusation that President Obama ordered that Trump Tower be wiretapped, the chairman said, “Well, the president is directly asking and calling for that. We — I’ve talked with [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Devin Nunes. They’re leading out on that. And we’re going to look into it.”

Asked if he believes Obama was spying on Trump, Chaffetz replied, “I’ve learned long enough that you don’t presuppose the outcome.”

“You — when you look around the corner, sometimes you find something you didn’t expect to find. So I think it’s a legitimate question. The president is emphatic about it,” he added. “We’re going to look at it and try to figure it out.”