WASHINGTON (CN) – Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday that FBI Director James Comey will hold a classified briefing to discuss an inquiry about President Donald Trump’s claims that the Obama administration surveilled his campaign.
The South Carolina lawmaker and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., wrote a letter to Comey and the Department of Justice on March 8 asking the agencies to disclose whether any U.S. court had issued a warrant allowing the surveillance of the Trump campaign, Trump Tower or any campaign operatives during the election.
The letter also asked the FBI to provide any information used to obtain any such warrant and to disclose if any warrants were requested but denied, Graham said.
The senators had asked the bureau to respond by today.
“Apparently the FBI has contacted my staff, but they will be, at some date in the future, providing us an answer to this in a classified manner,” Graham said.
That briefing will include Graham and Whitehouse, Graham said.
Whitehouse said the senators had wanted to proceed outside of a classified setting and used an analogy to signal to Comey that the American people need to be reassured because of the serious allegations contained in the president’s claims.
“If a small town wakes up one morning to find that all the shop windows on Main Street have been smashed, it is appropriate – and indeed it is incumbent – on the police chief to reassure the town that law enforcement will be looking into that incident,” Whitehouse said.
Graham recalled that James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, said earlier this month that to the best of his knowledge, no U.S. court had granted a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.
Graham said he has seen no evidence to support Trump’s claims that the former administration spied on his campaign, but implored the nation’s top cop to let the American people know if the president’s allegations hold water.
“If the answer is no, then we’ll know that didn’t happen,” Graham said. “If the answer is yes, that would be pretty stunning to me because they would have to have probable cause.”
He added, “I don’t know what the answer is, but I know it’s the right question to ask.”
Graham said he would provide more information as it becomes available.