By Jeff Mason and Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Department of Justice said on Monday it had requested more time to respond to a request from lawmakers on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee for evidence about President Donald Trump's allegation that then-President Barack Obama wiretapped him.
Earlier this month, without evidence, Trump accused his predecessor of wiretapping him during the 2016 election campaign. A spokesman for Obama said the charge was "simply false."
In response, the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting proof for the allegation by Monday.
A department spokeswoman said it had requested "additional time to review the request in compliance with the governing legal authorities and to determine what if any responsive documents may exist."
The committee said in a statement it wanted a response by the time of a planned hearing on March 20, suggesting it would use a subpoena if that did not happen.
"If the committee does not receive a response by then, the Committee will ask for this information during the March 20 hearing and may resort to a compulsory process if our questions continue to go unanswered."
(Additional reporting by Julia Edwards Ainsley; Editing by Peter Cooney)