The controversy that started when President Donald #trump claimed on Twitter that President Obama had “wiretapped” him has taken a turn. We know that the president was probably referring to the dubious “unmasking” of him and his associates as parties who were “incidentally surveilled” as part of an intelligence operation directed against foreign actors. Thanks to Bloomberg, we know that Obama’s #national security advisor #Susan Rice requested that people in the Trump orbit be unmasked multiple times. This information was apparently what Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes went to the White House to see.
Ranking committee member Adam Schiff initially complained about what Nunes did, but then went silent when he subsequently reviewed the same documents.
The revelation has eyebrows rising because Rice was one of the original purveyors of the lie that the Benghazi Massacre was caused by a video. That scandal rocked the last few weeks of the 2012 presidential election and helped to hobble then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attempt to win the presidency four years later.
One question that arises, why was Rice so interested in the doings of Team Trump? Bloomberg reveals that the intelligence included who the Trump transition team was meeting, what was discussed, and plans for the upcoming administration. These matters should not be the subject of a legitimate investigation. It would seem to amount to spying on a political opponent.
The other question that comes to mind is on whose behalf was Rice unmasking the Trump people. Was she seeking the identities of and unmasking members of Team Trump in the name of President Obama, who she directly reported to? If not, why would she do such a thing on her own initiative? We also know that she lied about her knowledge of these matters and will likely lie about other aspects of the operation..
She will lie unless she faces prosecution for abuse of power and no doubt other charges that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is likely to devise. Then Rice will have to contemplate going to prison for a long time or else flip on whoever ordered her to unmask members of Team Trump, presumably the former president.