There have been rumors floating around that the FBI, NSA, and other intelligence agencies under the Obama administration were specifically targeting Donald Trump, his associates, and other conservative figures for surveillance in the twilight months of his campaign. Although the mainstream news media framed this as a mere rumor, it seems as if there was truth in it after all.
According to The Daily Caller, CIA Director Mike Pompeo appeared on public television where he was asked if he had “seen all the requests made by the Obama administration,” and if “they were all legitimate?” The director revealed to a national audience that he had seen the requests, and had sent all the information to Capitol Hill where an active investigation is currently taking place.
It’s known that Obama officials asked for participants in various intelligence documents to be “unmasked” in the hopes of finding the names of Trump campaign members who might have been connected with foreign governments or officials.
Unfortunately for the former president, disclosing the names of US citizens identified through NSA surveillance is a federal crime, and that could come back to haunt him in the years to come.
“There is an active investigation going on all across Capitol Hill. We have done our job as the CIA. We have provided information and responses to inquiries from multiple committees, Senate and House side. We will continue to do that to make sure they can perform their oversight functions properly,” the director stated.
Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee started to take a hard look into the “unmasking” of Trump campaign officials by the Obama administration, something for which Republicans across the nation have been clamoring.
“There is a specific allegation that has been floating around, that the conversations between Michael Flynn and [Russian] Ambassador [Sergey] Kislyak came into the White House with Flynn masked,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), said in a speech before Congress, according to The Washington Times. “And that a decision was made in the Obama White House to unmask him – which then led to leaks to the newspapers and so forth.”
The House intelligence panel ended up issuing three subpoenas to intelligence agencies for records relating to the unmasking requests made by the White House, many of which came from top cabinet positions in Obama’s administration.
These claims have sparked outrage, especially amongst conservative figures across the nation. FOX News host Sean Hannity has threatened to bring forth the “biggest lawsuit” he can if it turns out that he was subject to illegal NSA surveillance and unmasking under the previous presidency.
“I am going to sanction the biggest lawsuit that I possibly can with the biggest attorneys in the country so we can do something to stop the shredding of the Constitution,” he said in his radio broadcast on August 4th.
What makes the situation even more difficult is that Obama had taken measures into his own hands to keep as many of his administration’s records regarding this matter sealed. He has moved them into his still-unopened presidential library in Chicago. These records cannot be opened for another five years, according to Fox News.
Such efforts to obfuscate investigations are surely frustrating to some, but Mike Pompeo’s recent remarks have confirmed that the situation is being investigated and that the examination is proceeding at a good pace.