The House Rep from Texas said he’s “been told by a number of different people in a position to know that, ‘You’re being watched, you’re being listened to…’”
He has offered no evidence to back up the allegation, which he has made repeatedly in recent days.
Apart from claims that he’s been the target of domestic surveillance, Gohmert — a tea party Republican who served as a criminal court judge before his election to Congress — also cites concerns about a “deep state” effort to discredit him as he seeks to derail a special counsel investigation that has so far yielded five guilty pleas from associates of President Donald Trump.
Gohmert, a frequent defender of Trump on conservative news outlets, told Fox Business on Monday night that he’s “been told in the past that there’s great concern about who I saw, what I did, and that I was being monitored.”
He didn’t specify whether these alleged activities date to the Obama administration or have taken place in the Trump era, or both.
“They know everybody that walks into your office,” he said on Fox, contending that he’s been told in the past — though by whom, he hasn’t said.
“One, you could be a paranoid. If you’re not a paranoid, two, you got to look at the people that you’ve been focusing on,” Fox Business host David Asman said.
“That’s their modus operandi,” Gohmert said.
His office did not respond to requests Tuesday to elaborate on the allegations and provide substantiation. He has not backed away from his claim in the least, instead retweeting a Fox video clip of an exchange with Tucker Carlson about the allegation.
Carlson said Gohmert is being retaliated against for “not properly kowtowing to the deep state” — a phrase that refers to a belief that a powerful set of government and military officials acts secretly on its own agenda. Gohmert also invoked the phrase.
Last week, Gohmert told WMAL-AM — a conservative talk radio station in Washington — that he’d been “told as much by some other folks,” and that he’s “had people who work for the government saying, ‘Oh man, they know everybody that comes into your office.’”
He told Carlson that he’s “been told by a number of different people in a position to know that, ‘You’re being watched, you’re being listened to.’” He replied that it could be “all of the above” when Carlson asked if the surveillance was “monitoring your email, phone calls, bugging your office” or something else.
Gohmert said that while he’s been warned before that he has been under surveillance by federal authorities, he began taking the concerns seriously only after he completed a report in April on Robert Mueller, the special counsel who has been investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“After the 48-page expose I did on Mueller and really trying to hold some people accountable that need to be accountable, then I’ve got to take these things more seriously,” he said on Fox Business.
Gohmert and a number of other House conservatives have repeatedly accused Mueller and the DOJ of misconduct in recent months. Gohmert supported a resolution and signed onto a letter from New York Rep. Lee Zeldin calling for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate the DOJ and FBI.
“While many in the media and the American public have been trying to bring down the president without evidence that President Trump colluded with Russia to win the election, there is a ton of actual evidence of real misconduct that those same people have been attempting to completely sweep under the rug,” Zeldin said at a May news conference.
Alleged misconduct includes a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant — typically issued to authorize surveillance of foreign spies in the United States — to wiretap Trump campaign adviser Carter Page based on probable cause that Page, an American, was acting as an agent of Russia.
The FBI investigated Page. He has not been charged with anything.
Gohmert, Zeldin and others claim that the warrant, which was renewed three times, was based on the unsubstantiated “Steele dossier” detailing alleged links between Trump and Russia.
At a hearing last week, Gohmert questioned Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about the warrant and his decision to authorize its final renewal. Though Rosenstein admitted to approving the warrant, he urged Gohmert to defer to the inspector general’s review of the matter.
House conservatives have also questioned the decision to end the probe into former presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server and into a deal between the Obama administration and Russia regarding the sale of an American uranium mining company, Uranium One, to a state nuclear agency in 2010.
Gohmert mentioned these allegations among a list of reasons Rosenstein — who oversees the special counsel because Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a Trump campaign adviser, recused himself — should be disqualified from the Mueller investigation, and fired.
“He does need to go. He is hurting the country. He’s hurting justice,” Gohmert said. “The deep state is so far from being gone.”
As for his fears of spying, Gohmert said he couldn’t mention any names.
He told WMAL that he “doesn’t doubt for a minute that (Rosenstein) has people who have been looking into my background,” though he didn’t allege Rosenstein himself was involved.
“It’s not him personally. There’s always deniability,” he said.
When Asman asked if he believed Mueller had “a staff that he could organize to spy on a U.S. congressman,” Gohmert replied, “It’s what they do.”
“It’s very clear to see that they have the capability,” he said, citing criminal investigations of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and former Pennsylvania Rep. Curt Weldon.
Stevens was convicted in 2008 of lying on financial disclosures about large gifts. Months later, an FBI whistleblower revealed that the agency had concealed evidence favorable to the senator. The convictions were voided but by then, he’d lost re-election.
“They wanted to take him out,” Gohmert said. “Mueller was the FBI director.”
Weldon was investigated in 2006 for suspected connections to Russia and Serbia, though he was never charged. He also lost a re-election bid while under a cloud of suspicion.
“They raided his office two weeks before his election, and then did nothing,” Gohmert said. “We have got to break the back of … this spygate that keeps going on around here.”
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