Much of The Media is focused this week on the story of how House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes had met with his whistle-blower contact on ′the White House grounds′, in order to access a secure computer to read classified documents. Of course, there was no crime committed in this as Nunes is already cleared to read such material and did so from a secure location. There is no such access available on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, reporters John Solomon and Sara Carter of Circa.com have been following the trail using their own sources, a trail which allegedly leads to several key figures in the Obama administration. NSA intercepts containing the names of American citizens mentioned during conversations by foreign nationals are supposed to be ′masked′ or ′minimized′ to conceal their identities. But Barack Obama had loosened the rules, specifically Section 702 of FISA shortly before leaving office. Among potential suspects who may have allegedly unmasked the names of Trump, his family members and transition team aides were Susan Rice, John Brennan and Loretta Lynch.
According to the latest reporting by Solomon and Carter, dozens of NSA intercepts had names of then President-Elect Trump and those around him unmasked between November 2016 and January 2017. The NSA is expected to provide a full log and accounting of such intercepts to Chairman Nunes this week going back to the summer of 2016. Under the original FISA law, the names of American citizens may only be ′unmasked′ if ″the identity of the United States person is necessary to understand foreign intelligence or assess its importance″. However, since 2011, the Obama administration had been amending the criteria as to access to such intelligence. Some of the biggest changes came in January, 2017, when an Obama executive order allowed such intelligence to be shared within the intelligence community with practically no oversight or genuine cause.
Mind you, while we do not specifically know as of yet what these documents contain, many of them could very well be just the equivalent of ′diplomatic gossip′ between foreign dignitaries. For example, an ambassador telling his foreign minister boss something he heard at a cocktail party. In the cases of Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions, each of whom had telephone conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, which had been arranged and cleared by the Obama State Department ahead of time, it could be that the Obama White House was trying to bait a trap, hoping for something damning to turn up in the NSA or FBI intercepts of these telephone chats.
We know from news reports from The Media, such as articles by the New York Times and the Washington Post in late January and early February 2017, that there was significant leaking of classified material to the press from government sources. In the closing months of the Obama administration, a large number of staffers were reassigned to positions within the intelligence community. Reports are that these staffers may have allegedly been tasked by senior White House officials to gather and compile as many intelligence documents as possible concerning then President-Elect Donald Trump and his transition team.
Other news reporters, such as James Rosen of Fox News, himself a victim of surveillance by the Obama administration, are confirming through their own sources much of what John Solomon and Sara Carter of Circa.com are reporting. Rep. Devin Nunes, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, appears to also be confirming the essence of this story. While Democrats and those in The Media continue to push the Trump-Russia collusion story, where there has so far been no evidence of any collusion, the real story of potentially unlawful surveillance on the Trump team by the Obama administration may explode into a full-scale scandal. This might explain why Nunes has postponed a hearing where Sally Yates, who was the acting Attorney General for a short time in between Loretta Lynch and Jeff Sessions, was to testify. Could it be that the whistle-blower has told Nunes that Yates was involved as well in unmasking names? The plot is thickening and time will tell what really happened and who was behind it all?
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