Hours after a report that revealed former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice was likely the one who “unmasked” individuals associated with President Donald Trump’s transition team in intelligence reports, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said she should testify before Congress as to her role in the matter.
Bloomberg reported early Monday that 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.”
The names of such individuals are usually redacted from the reports, which had led many to wonder whether the “unmasking” was politically motivated. Fox News reported, “It was not clear how Rice knew to ask for the names to be unmasked, but the question was being posed by the sources late Monday.”
Paul said that the issue was important for Congress to pursue, particularly since such information could be used to blackmail individuals.
“If it is allowed, we shouldn’t be allowing it, but I don’t think we should just discount how big a deal it is that Susan Rice was looking at these,” Paul told reporters, according to The Daily Caller. “And she needs to be asked, ‘Did President (Barack) Obama ask her to do this? Was this a directive from President Obama? I think she should testify under oath on this.
“The law says you can’t reverse target people, but how would you know that once you get inside the brain and the people that are unmasking people?” Paul said.
“So, what if I decided to unmask and I’m there and I only unmask the conversations of my Democrat opponents — shouldn’t there be more restrictions for unmasking people in the political process?”
The possibility of a politically motivated unmasking by an Obama administration official has always been a possibility floated in the media, although representatives of the former administration have continued to deny that.
As late as March 22, the Washington Free Beacon reported, Rice was claiming she had no knowledge of whoever had unmasked Trump transition officials in U.S. intelligence reports.
When she gets before Congress, Susan Rice might be singing a very different tune.
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