During an interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network on Monday, President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama of treason, a crime punishable by death. Trump did not offer any evidence or details to back up his claim.
The president also insinuated that the Attorney General William Barr-approved investigation into abuses of FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, would result in the unraveling of a massive conspiracy to upend his presidency.
“On Obama and the spying situation, there’s this idea that they were spying on your campaign. You’ve been asked before about what crime he would have potentially committed, but I remember you talking about—” Brody said before Trump interjected.
“Treason! Treason,” Trump said. “It’s treason. Look. Look. When I came out a long time ago, I said ‘they’ve been spying on my campaign.’ I said, ‘they’ve been taping,’ and that was in quotes, meaning a modern day version of ‘taping,’ it’s all the same thing, but a modern day version. But they’ve been spying on my campaign. I told you that a long time ago. Turned out I was right. Let’s see what happens to them now.”
In @DavidBrodyCBN interview, President Trump, without evidence, accuses President Obama of “treason” and says he’s looking forward to seeing what the Justice Department pursues in the coming months. pic.twitter.com/AKo9chdgPI
— Robert Costa (@costareports) June 22, 2020
Trump continued by referencing U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is currently in charge of examining surveillance abuses at the request of Attorney General Barr.
“Durham is — I’ve never met Durham, because I want to stay out of it, because otherwise it’s going to look political — but Durham as you know is a highly respected person, and Bill Barr is doing a great job as attorney general,” Trump said. “Let’s see what they come up with. But — they don’t have to tell me. All I have to do is read the papers. The insurance policy in case she doesn’t win? We’re gonna — insurance policy? Well, that was all the stuff that we went through over the last, let’s say, two and a half years. Now, we caught them. We caught them cold. [Former FBI Agent Peter] Strzok and [Former FBI lawyer Lisa] Page, the two lovers? [Former CIA Director John] Brennan and [Former Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper, the way they lied.”
As the Washington Post notes:
Despite Trump’s assertions that the FBI under Obama wiretapped the phones at Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said last year he found no evidence of that. But that has not stopped Trump from continuing to make the baseless claim.
In an exchange with reporters in the White House briefing room last month, Trump was pressed for more information on the scheme he has taken to calling “Obamagate.” What crime, a reporter asked him, was he accusing the former president of committing?
“You know what the crime is,” Trump responded, providing no details. “The crime is very obvious to everybody. All you have to do is read the newspapers — except yours.”