‘The only illegal activity was the unmasking’
If the following report from the Daily Caller is correct, the scandal surrounding the Obama administration’s illegal unmasking of Trump-related intel is about to get a whole lot worse. According to their sources, Susan Rice not only lied about knowledge of the scheme, she also had a nasty habit of demanding “detailed spreadsheets” which chronicled unmasked and “perfectly legal” conversations involving Trump associates.
…Oh, and the unmasked names were disseminated throughout the Obama administration to a cadre of shady characters.
From the Daily Caller News Foundation:
Former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice ordered U.S. spy agencies to produce “detailed spreadsheets” of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for president, according to former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova.
“What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals,” diGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Monday.
“The overheard conversations involved no illegal activity by anybody of the Trump associates, or anyone they were speaking with,” diGenova said. “In short, the only apparent illegal activity was the unmasking of the people in the calls.”
If that sounds bad, it’s probably because, well, it is. It’s really, really, bad. In fact, it’s potentially a 10 year felony that could bring down multiple people within the former Obama administration.
Fox said the unmasked names of Trump aides were given to officials at the National Security Council (NSC), the Department of Defense, James Clapper, President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, and John Brennan, Obama’s CIA Director.
Joining Rice in the alleged White House operations was her deputy Ben Rhodes, according to Fox.
So far, it appears that – at least as it pertains to Trump – the intel collected was useful only in political operations. If that doesn’t change, we’re looking at a major political, criminal, and constitutional crisis. It would be a staggering crime that absolutely dwarfs Watergate. It would, without question, be the biggest political scandal in U.S. history.
Michael Doran, former NSC senior director, told TheDCNF Monday that “somebody blew a hole in the wall between national security secrets and partisan politics.” This “was a stream of information that was supposed to be hermetically sealed from politics and the Obama administration found a way to blow a hole in that wall.”
Doran charged that potential serious crimes were undertaken because “this is a leaking of signal intelligence.”
“That’s a felony,” he told TheDCNF. “And you can get 10 years for that. It is a tremendous abuse of the system. We’re not supposed to be monitoring American citizens. Bigger than the crime, is the breach of public trust.”
Col. (Ret.) James Waurishuk, an NSC vet and a former deputy director for intelligence at the U.S. Central Command, sums it up thusly:
“This is now using national intelligence assets and capabilities to spy on the elected, yet-to-be-seated president.”
“We’re looking at a potential constitutional crisis from the standpoint that we used an extremely strong capability that’s supposed to be used to safeguard and protect the country,” he said. “And we used it for political purposes by a sitting President. That takes on a new precedent.”
So, what does all this mean? It means that Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes had better lawyer up. It’s hard to overstate what a massive story this is. The media has tried (and continues to try) to bury it but, in trashing Trump’s wiretapping claims for the last month, they’ve made it all but impossible to ignore. It’s not going to simply “go away” this time.
Senator Rand Paul is already demanding that Rice testify before Congress. That’s great, but folks like Rice and Rhodes should immediately be placed under oath so they can be interviewed separately – in private. Then let them appear at a Congressional hearing. The last thing we need is another TV circus where a few congressmen exploit an investigation for TV facetime.
Get their sworn statements, play them against each other, and expose what happened.
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