When Donald Trump told the world former President Barack Obama wiretapped him in Trump Tower, his staff did everything they could to suppress the tweet, pretend there was actual evidence or even claim that the president wasn’t being serious. Republicans, on the other hand, are ready to expose Trump for crying wolf.
The Washington Post noted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) threatened to subpoena the Trump administration to get to the bottom of the evidence the Justice Department claims they’ll submit by March 20. The initial deadline was March 13, but the administration failed to deliver. He’s not optimistic, however.
“We don’t have any evidence,” he told reporters.
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) demanded copies of the warrant necessary to wiretap an American citizen but according to reports, Trump has failed to deliver. So, Graham is pondering a special committee to handle it.
“They’re about to screw up big time if they keep running to the intel committee and not answer that letter,” Graham reportedly said. Adding, “if they don’t honor this request and give us an answer, then I would say that we need a joint select committee because regular order is not working.”
By Wednesday, Graham said that he could easily go the subpoena route as well and might even hold up Trump’s deputy attorney general nominee Rod J. Rosenstein.
This isn’t the first time Trump has proposed a conspiracy theory without providing evidence. The most famous example is Trump’s declaration that former President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. and thus not a citizen. Recently, Trump alleged 3 million people voted illegally, prompting secretaries of state to denounce the claim as wildly inaccurate.
It puts Graham and Nunes in an awkward position to agree with the leader of their party or to denounce him and humiliate him by calling his claims crazy. Given the 2018 elections, many Republicans are in self-protection mode and might not be likely to help the president save face.