Well, for someone who is known for lying repeatedly on national television about the Benghazi attack being the result of a video, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Bloomberg News reported on the discovery of a suspicious pattern of unmasking requests by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice near the end of the Obama administration:
White House lawyers last month discovered that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The pattern of Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like “U.S. Person One.”
Bloomberg’s Eli Lake does say that Rice’s requests don’t necessarily violate the law, since she would have had broad authority to request unmasking, but that does not mean there is no political impact:
But Rice’s multiple requests to learn the identities of Trump officials discussed in intelligence reports during the transition period does highlight a longstanding concern for civil liberties advocates about U.S. surveillance programs. The standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything. This suggests Rice’s unmasking requests were likely within the law.
The news about Rice also sheds light on the strange behavior of Nunes in the last two weeks. It emerged last week that he traveled to the White House last month, the night before he made an explosive allegation about Trump transition officials caught up in incidental surveillance. At the time he said he needed to go to the White House because the reports were only on a database for the executive branch. It now appears that he needed to view computer systems within the National Security Council that would include the logs of Rice’s requests to unmask U.S. persons.
So defense of Susan Rice is that she did nothing illegal — doesn't lessen political impact or make it non-scandal https://t.co/1guo7smHZ8
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) April 3, 2017
We could be looking at a major league scandal here. Rice publicly said “I know nothing” about Nunes’ allegations:
Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice pushed back Wednesday against President Donald Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped by the Obama administration during the 2016 election.
“Nothing of the sort occurred,” Rice told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, in her first interview since stepping down as national security adviser when President Barack Obama left office.
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) April 3, 2017
The Daily Mail has also reported some interesting finds into this case:
The diplomat who is in line to be America’s next NATO ambassador said Monday that former National Security Advisor Susan Rice has been suspected ‘for weeks’ of involvement in an effort to publicly unmask Donald Trump associates whose names appeared in foreign intelligence reports.
And he claimed ten days ago that if Rice and her deputy Ben Rhodes were behind politically motivated leaks of classified intelligence, former president Barack Obama was also in the know.
‘Former State Department colleagues of mine have been talking about Susan Rice’s role for weeks,’ Richard Grenell told DailyMail.com on Monday
‘She and her team certainly were hyper-partisan throughout their tenure. It makes sense.’
H/T: Legal Insurrection