The Russia hacking story is not the real story, it’s the distraction. The blockbuster is the revelation of spying abuses by the Obama administration. The unmasking by top Obama officials is “only the beginning”, according to Devin Nunes.
They have probable cause of Obama administration’s abuse of power
The House Intelligence Committee is accelerating its probe into Obama officials who may have unlawfully “unmasked” U.S. citizens. Subpoenas have been issued to former Obama foreign policy aides John Brennan, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power.
It’s very odd that Susan Rice would ask for an American to be unmasked but, for Samantha Power to ask for someone to be unmasked is unheard of. She was the U.N. Ambassador and was not in a position to evaluate intelligence..
Devin Nunes sat down with reporters from the Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast to talk about the subpoenas which had been served upon the NSA, the CIA, and the FBI, requesting specifically, any unmasking of information done by former CIA Director John Brennan, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice or U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power in the past year up until Jan. 20 of this year.
The agencies are required to comply with a response by June 7.
Nunes said what was troubling was that unmasking of Americans had generally been a rare event in his experience, but then suddenly it wasn’t with regard to the Trump transition team, he told The Daily Beast.
In terms of subpoenas, “Oh, this is only the beginning,” Nunes told the news outlet.
Nunes confirmed that the committee was interested in additional Obama people beyond Brennan, Power and Rice. He said that hopefully now with the subpoenas that the intel community knows they are serious.
Nunes expanded on the possibility of an “abuse of power” in the data. “The big problem here is that the people that run these programs are protecting the United States, protecting U.S. citizens from terrorist attacks, from other adversaries that we have around the globe, and we have to protect American citizens from being picked up in these types of foreign intelligence collections. However, what clearly has happened here—at a minimum—I don’t know if it’s illegal, but it’s clearly an abuse of power, that senior Obama administration officials would unmask someone.”
He went on to say that if people were leaking classified information to the media, that would also be illegal.
About Samantha Power unmasking, Nunes observed: “It would be very unusual for any ambassador under any circumstances, at any level, to unmask names of American citizens, no matter where they are serving, whether it’s the UN, or in the U.K., or in Germany, or in China. I think it would be very unusual for any ambassador to request an unmasking.”
Nunes indicated a troubled landscape ahead. “So I’m not going to get into what I know at this point, but I can tell you we would not be asking this if we didn’t have probable cause that there was an abuse of power.”
Asked if more former Obama officials beyond these three names are suspected of excessive unmaskings, Nunes was frank: “Oh, this is only the beginning. There are many more officials that we have concerns about abusing the intelligence programs.”
Lindsey Graham is one of those who has been told he was unmasked.