In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Shadowproof, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said it “can neither confirm nor deny the existence of records” regarding a wiretap of Trump Tower.
The FBI sent its response via email earlier this afternoon, hours before news broke that the United States government wiretapped President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. The Bureau’s response appears to be a reversal from its response to an earlier FOIA request, in which the Department of Justice stated that “Both FBI and NSD confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017 tweets [in which Trump alleged President Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower]”.
CNN reported today that U.S. investigators employed secret court orders to wiretap Manafort, both prior to and following the election. Though Manafort owns an apartment in Trump Tower, the report by CNN did not make clear whether that was the location or subject of the wiretap.
The document released to Shadowproof justifies its Glomar response with a number of national security and law enforcement exemptions, which readers can find a glossary for here.