The Wall Street Journal broke the news late Wednesday that the House Intelligence Committee was issuing a round of subpoenas related to its investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, a development that should come as no surprise given Washington’s obsession with this story.
However, what IS interesting is that the subpoenas also include three issued to the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA, and these are not related to the Russia investigation, except tangentially. These are focused on the Obama administration’s “unmasking” of Trump campaign officials who were caught up in what we are to believe was “incidental” surveillance.
Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, has already confirmed that she asked the intelligence community to unmask some of these names, though she insists that it was not done for political purposes. By issuing these subpoenas, the House investigators want to find out if that’s true or not. And if they find discrepancies – if they find that the Obama administration was spying on Americans just to gain an advantage in a tight election…well, hold on to your hats, because this could turn into one of the most explosive stories to hit D.C. in years.
As Andrew McCarthy noted in National Review, the really interesting part of the story is that the House is apparently looking for information related to one of Obama’s top diplomats: Former UN Ambassador Samantha Power.
“Were there to be information indicating that Ms. Power was involved in unmasking American identities in intelligence reports, significant questions would be raised,” McCarthy writes. “As ambassador to the U.N., Power, a long-time Obama adviser, held a diplomatic position. She was not an intelligence analyst. It is not immediately clear why the U.N. ambassador would be involved in the disclosure of American identities in intelligence reports — after the agencies that collected and analyzed the intelligence had decided such identities should be masked.”
Fox News reports that congressional officials have only recently turned their attention to Power, telling reporters that her role in the unmasking saga was bigger than previously known – perhaps bigger than that of Rice’s or former CIA Director John Brennan’s.
In comments to the L.A. Times, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said he was disturbed by the information he’d already uncovered.
“I found a treasure trove of stuff that’s really bad in terms of surveillance on Americans and that is critical to the job that I have as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee,” Nunes said. “It’s really horrible because it endangers America, because the work that our intelligence professionals do is so critical to our safety. To have an administration, a past administration, abuse these powers and put our country in jeopardy, there’s nothing, there’s no words that can explain the damage they’ve done and the damage that they’ve created.”
The left has praised Barack Obama for running a “scandal-free” White House. As absurd as that claim is already, it may look especially ridiculous when everything about the administration’s spying comes to light.
Think these crooks will look to Trump for a pardon?