Published: Sun, June 04, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

WashPost: House Intel Committee Sought 'Unmaskings' Last Year


Three of the subpoenas requested that the CIA, FBI and NSA provide any relevant information to Obama administration officials ordering the unmasking of Trump campaign members in intelligence transcripts, The Hill reports. More troubling, Nunes - acting on his own - issued subpoenas to the CIA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency for information about Trump campaign officials who may have been unmasked.

Since the probes are considered separate matters, Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) signed all seven subpoenas, despite his recusal, the Journal reports. It is a stunning revelation, given Chairman Nunes himself has insisted the bigger issue is not collusion between the Trump team and Russia, or Russian hacking of the DNC or the election, but the violation of civil rights of US citizens via illegal unmasking by the Obama administration - a charge for which he has provided zero proof.

Devin Nunes violated his recusal from the committee's ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling by issuing subpoenas Wednesday, after three subpoenas were issued to the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency for information about the names of Trump campaign officials who who were "unmasked" in intelligence reports from those agencies.

Nunes' earlier this year had created such an uproar by claiming Obama-era individuals had inappropriately requested unmasking, suggesting they did so to illegally spy on the Trump campaign.

"If he (Nunes) recused himself from subjects Russian Federation then he shouldn't be having access to documents relating to subject Russian Federation and he shouldn't be issuing separate subpoenas attaching them to bipartisan subpoenas that were issued this week", Pelosi said in response to a question at a news conference on Friday.

She says she shared her objection with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Schiff told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell that the subpoenas went out without consultation with the minority.

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In March, Nunes came under fire for reportedly sharing confidential details, including information on Trump's associates and their alleged ties to Russian Federation, with a source at the White House grounds.

The subpoenas, which were issued by Nunes, specifically named former national security adviser Susan Rice, former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan and United Nations ambassador Samantha Power as persons of interest.

President Trump also tweeted about unmasking Thursday.

But even as House investigators pushed forward, Democrats on the investigation grumbled in private that Nunes had never really stepped away from the probe.

"When these ethics charges are gone then I'm going to be back again", Nunes said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"While Mr. Conaway leads the Russian Federation investigation, Mr. Nunes remains the Chairman of the Intel Committee and has the right and responsibility to conduct oversight of the intelligence community", she told CBS News in a statement, "especially as it relates to the potential misuse of intelligence agencies against Americans".

"The behavior of Nunes ... is beneath the dignity of being a chairman of the Intelligence Committee". Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, is under scrutiny in the FBI's investigation, fired FBI Director James Comey will testify before Congress next week about a conversation he had in which the president asked him to drop the FBI's investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

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