In a statement released Sunday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) called on President Donald Trump to release “all relevant documents” related to the intelligence community’s handling of the Russia investigation.
“The public deserves answers about the unmasking and surveillance of political opponents and members of Congress, including the names of Trump campaign officials,” Wyden and Lee said.
The senators’ statement also noted that the Trump administration has denied the existence of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign or transition team was under surveillance by the Obama administration.
“In light of President Trump’s recent comments about his investigation into Russian interference in the election, it’s time for President Trump to fully and honestly answer the American people’s questions about the Trump team’s alleged attempts to surveil and unmask the communications of former and current political opponents,” the senators said.
Wyden, Lee, and Sen, Tom Udall (D) of New Mexico, sent a letter to Trump on Friday and asked the White House to provide “all pertinent documents” on the matter.
“While we remain deeply concerned about the possible unmasking of U.K. citizens, we cannot ignore the ongoing, widespread, and unproven allegation that the Obama Administration and others in the intelligence communities have engaged in unlawful and illegal unmasking,” the letter said.
“This is an important public health issue and we must ensure the full and accurate accounts of this important and complex matter are forthcoming to the American public.”
Udall, Wyden’s top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the public’s right to know has been violated, and the administration should release all relevant documents related to Russian interference with the 2016 election.
“If the President is unable to provide the full facts about this matter, we are asking him to make public his response to our letter, including whether the Trump White House or any Trump official participated in any unmasking or surveillance of any U.M. citizens,” Udall said.
Trump has been dogged by accusations of political interference and Russian interference.
In May, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that “nobody has ever seen such an unbelievable amount of bad stuff.”
In October, Trump tweeted, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
A month later, he also told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he believes the Russian government is behind the hacking of Democratic Party emails.
“I believe that they were probably, in fact, working with the DNC,” Trump said.
In August, a group of Democrats sent a formal letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking him for more information about the Russian investigation and asking him “to declassify any relevant documents and any other information relating to the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in our elections and possible ties to President Donald J. Trump’s campaign.”
“The Committee is concerned that the Attorney General’s failure to provide relevant documents, materials, and information regarding the ongoing FBI investigation and/or release any responsive documents, to date, to the Committee, is inconsistent with the Committee’s constitutional obligation to receive such information, materials and information, as requested,” the Democrats wrote.
In July, a top Obama administration official told a congressional panel that the White’s efforts to unmask Trump’s transition team members were “not politically motivated” and that the intelligence agencies were doing so “in good faith.”
“There is nothing in our national security policy or practice that allows the use of surveillance and/ or warrantless unmasking to unmark political opponents or anyone with whom the Trump transition team is currently dealing,” the official said, according to an audio recording obtained by The Washington Post.
“We don’t use that.
And we don’t do it to protect anybody, to protect a particular individual, to help us track down and investigate any individual or groups who might be doing things that are illegal or wrong.”