Barack Obama’s illegal domestic spying scandal continues to grow.
Intrigue has swirled around former National Security Advisor Susan Rice ever since it was revealed she was the one who requested the unmasking of Trump officials.
Now the cover up in this scandal traces straight back to Obama.
The watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act Request for any documents pertaining to Rice’s request to unmask Trump officials caught up in the Obama administration’s surveillance.
The National Security Council responded that they no longer had the documents.
In fact, they had been turned over to Barack Obama’s Presidential library.
Under the law, this means they can be kept hidden from the public for five years.
“The National Security Council cannot hand over records relating to former National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s surveillance of Americans, because they have been moved to the Obama presidential library and may be sealed for as may as five years, conservative watchdog Judicial Watch announced Monday.
The NSC informed Judicial Watch in a letter dated May 23 that materials related to Rice’s requests to know the identities of Americans swept up in surveillance of foreign targets, including any Trump campaign or transition officials, have been moved to the library.
The NSC’s Director of Access Management John Powers said in the letter:
Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library. You may send your request to the Obama Library. However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.
Judicial Watch earlier this year filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for those documents, including of communications between Rice and any intelligence community member or agency regarding any Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, the hacking of Democratic National Committee computers, or any suspected communications between Russia and Trump officials.”
This scandal exploded when classified intercepts of former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s conversations with the Russians were illegally leaked to the Washington Post.
The leaks contradicted Flynn’s claims about his conversations with the Russian Ambassador and he was fired.
No one accused Flynn of any wrongdoing in his conversations, but they created a political embarrassment for the Trump administration and fueled media speculation that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
Covering up Rice’s requests conceals the paper trail that could expose whoever illegally leaked the classified intercepts to the Washington Post.
In addition, Rice herself may have violated the law.
Andrew McCarthy – a former federal prosecutor – wrote in The National Review:
“In general, it is the FBI that conducts investigations that bear on American citizens suspected of committing crimes or of acting as agents of foreign powers. In the matter of alleged Russian meddling, the investigative camp also includes the CIA and the NSA. All three agencies conducted a probe and issued a joint report in January. That was after Obama, despite having previously acknowledged that the Russian activity was inconsequential, suddenly made a great show of ordering an inquiry and issuing sanctions.
Consequently, if unmasking was relevant to the Russia investigation, it would have been done by those three agencies. And if it had been critical to know the identities of Americans caught up in other foreign intelligence efforts, the agencies that collect the information and conduct investigations would have unmasked it. Because they are the agencies that collect and refine intelligence “products” for the rest of the “intelligence community,” they are responsible for any unmasking; and they do it under “minimization” standards that FBI Director James Comey, in recent congressional testimony, described as “obsessive” in their determination to protect the identities and privacy of Americans.
Understand: There would have been no intelligence need for Susan Rice to ask for identities to be unmasked. If there had been a real need to reveal the identities — an intelligence need based on American interests — the unmasking would have been done by the investigating agencies. The national-security adviser is not an investigator. She is a White House staffer. The president’s staff is a consumer of intelligence, not a generator or collector of it. If Susan Rice was unmasking Americans, it was not to fulfill an intelligence need based on American interests; it was to fulfill a political desire based on Democratic-party interests.”
The documents which could expose these crimes have been squirreled away in the Obama Presidential library and are concealed from the pubic for up to five years.
Was this merely a routine administrative transfer of materials?
Or was it a more sinister piece to a larger cover up?