Political Spying: While the Democrats continue to flail wildly, accusing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes of all kinds of hypothetical misdeeds, evidence is growing that the Obama administration had an actual spying program on its domestic political opponents, namely the Donald Trump campaign. If so, it was more than just wrong — it was a crime.
Bloomberg national security correspondent Eli Lake reports that White House lawyers discovered last month that Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice sought the identities of "U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign." Lake based his reporting on talks with sources that requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.
The sources told Lake that the discovery of Rice's possible involvement was made by Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the director of intelligence on the National Security Council, who was reviewing the accusation. Rice made repeated requests to "unmask" people in raw intelligence reports tied to the Trump transition, the sources said. Most of the reports involved conversations between foreign officials and the Trump transition team.
Democrats have tried to brush off the seriousness of these actions by noting that the intelligence was "incidental" — that is, picked up as a byproduct of an intelligence-gathering operation against foreign officials. But, as we noted in a piece last month linked below, "incidental" is meaningless, since an intelligence operation can be mounted against a foreigner with high expectations that he or she would be in contact with someone here in the U.S., especially if the person was known to have had ties or contacts previously.
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