Trump's "Spygate" offensive loses steam

In less than 24 hours, Trump’s allegations were publicly refuted by House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), one of just nine lawmakers briefed on highly classified details of the FBI’s operation; Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, a Trump favorite; and prominent legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, a vocal Trump ally who has advised the president on legal strategy.

Legal experts and Trump critics say the defections have exposed cracks in the president’s narrative and undermine his attempts to discredit the FBI investigation into Russian contacts with his campaign as a partisan, “deep state” attack on his presidential bid.

And notably, a slew of Trump’s congressional allies who have been active purveyors of what the president dubbed “spygate” — including Reps. Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz and Lee Zeldin — were silent Wednesday. POLITICO reached out to a handful of these lawmakers and did not hear back. Only Rep. Mark Meadows had weighed in by late afternoon, suggesting the Justice Department couldn’t be trusted to explain away the controversy.