Senior congressional leaders are doubling up their efforts and focus on investigations looking upon the efforts by the Obama administration to obtain highly classified intelligence on President Trump administration’s allies in what is considered to be an effort to undermine the President and his own National Security team, as per conversations with multiple senior U.S. officials aware of the situation.
The recent admission by Obama’s former National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, that she unmasked the identities of Trump transition team members has shifted the scope of the ongoing congressional investigation from trying to find out “who” to “why.” Tracked on a timeline, soon after each one of Rice’s unmasking’s, the highly classified information ended up with the liberal media – outlets like the Washington Post, and New York Times.
Additionally, Former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power and other senior Obama-era officials made similar requests to unmask in what is now being treated as part of a coordinated campaign by Obama to completely handicap Trump’s administration’s national security agenda.
These unmasking requests – which were made in the last year of the Obama era, could just be a single side of a much larger effort of the Obama administration to suppress Trump in the lead up towards the 2016 election. The leak of the classified information to the press has further fed accusations that the Obama administration was aiming to sabotage Trump’s team.
Representative Ron DeSantis – the chair of the House Subcommittee on the National Security said, “The misuse of intelligence information by members of the Obama administration is a serious issue that requires an exhaustive investigation and accountability.”
DeSantis added, “From the unmasking exploits of Obamaphiles like Samantha Power to the leaking of FISA [Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act] material, this behavior has eroded public trust in America’s intelligence apparatus and has imperiled the future authorization of key counterterrorism programs. Congress has a lot of work that needs to get done.”
On the other hand, Rice who previously denied the charges that she was behind the unmaskings, admitted to Congress in sworn testimony earlier this month that she had in fact requested the identities of the Trump’s associated to be unmasked.
One of the senior congressional source said, “The media stories reporting that Susan Rice admitted to unmasking Trump officials—after initially claiming she knew nothing about it—have refocused a lot of attention in Congress on this issue. The ensuing media reports that [Trump transition team member] Paul Manafort was wiretapped have further intensified the sense that Obama officials were using intelligence products to keep tabs on Trump’s team.”
“The system failed here, because at some point the NSA should have protested to the White House, or the Justice Department, about these abuses by Samantha Power,” continued the official. “Congress should inquire whether it ever did, and if so why the White House did not shut Power down. If NSA never protested, why not? Don’t they have any system that identifies such abuses and tells them how they should be handled? If not, have they established one now?”