CNN — By Manu Raju, Theodore Schleifer and Ashley Killough, Updated 9:37 PM ET, Mon March 13, 2017. Accessed 3/13/2017
Washington (CNN)The Department of Justice asked the chairman and vice chairman of the House Intelligence Committee for “additional time” to collect evidence to support President Donald Trump’s accusation that the Obama administration wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower during the campaign.
The committee had set a Monday deadline for the agency to provide the evidence, a source familiar with the matter has told CNN — a deadline that did not appear to apply to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation.
Senate panel Chairman Richard Burr told CNN, “I’ve talked to all the appropriate people,” adding later that he has received “sufficient” responses about the wiretapping claim.
“I would say from our conversations, what we’ve gotten are sufficient answers,” the North Carolina Republican said.
Burr would not say if there was any evidence backing Trump’s claim.
The source told CNN over the weekend that the House committee had sent letters throughout the intelligence community this week to obtain records related to Russia, which the Justice Department responded to Monday evening.
“This afternoon, the Department of Justice placed calls to representatives of the chairman and ranking member of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to ask for additional time to review the request in compliance with the governing legal authorities and to determine what if any responsive documents may exist,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement.
A spokesman for Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, suggested the panel may subpoena the administration if their questions go unanswered.
“The Department of Justice has asked for more time to comply with the House Intelligence Committee’s request for information related to possible surveillance of Donald Trump or his associates during the election campaign,” Nunes spokesman Jack Langer said in a statement. “We have asked the department to provide us this information before the committee’s open hearing scheduled for March 20. If the committee does not receive a response by then, the committee will ask for this information during the March 20 hearing and may resort to a compulsory process if our questions continue to go unanswered.”
In the upper chamber, senators on the intelligence panel say they’ve asked officials to provide evidence of Trump’s wiretapping claims. They suggest there wasn’t a Monday deadline — as the House committee has requested.