04/05/2017 / By JD Heyes
For those #NeverTrump types who are still waiting to see irrefutable evidence that then-GOP nominee Donald J. Trump ‘colluded’ with Russia to “hack/steal the election” from Hillary Clinton, grab a good book and an easy chair, because you’re going to be waiting a long, long time.
As in, forever. That evidence doesn’t exist because the scandal doesn’t exist.
And yet there most definitely was a scandal that occurred during the 2016 presidential election cycle, but it originated within the Obama White House. And we now know who the ringleader was: Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
As I reported at WhiteHouse.news, press accounts earlier this week identified Rice as the person who requested the “unmasking” of Trump transition and campaign team members. These names were apparently picked up in the course of routine, legal intelligence surveillance of foreign figures – in this case, Russians. (RELATED: If there were nefarious Trump-Russia ties, Rice’s actions prove we’d have known about them BEFORE the election)
Why is that wrong?
Because normally, explains by former U.S. attorney and national security prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, writing at National Review Online, the names of American citizens are only unmasked on very rare occasions, and only then if they are suspected of being agents of a foreign government. Furthermore, McCarthy – who led the prosecution against the first World Trade Center bombing mastermind, Omar Abdel-Rahman – notes that the White House and its political appointees (like Rice) are consumers of intelligence, not producers of it; they request and are given intelligence that has been gathered by the FBI, NSA, CIA and others.
He notes that Rice would have no good reason to unmask Trump’s campaign or transition personnel unless it was being done for political purposes:
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. [Emphasis added]
The New York Post editorial board, in a column this week, laid out the evidence that Rice’s activities, which included gathering intelligence intercepts and other surveillance data on Team Trump months in advance of the Nov. 8 election and then requesting their names be unmasked, were aimed at undermining the incoming administration and delegitimizing his victory.
— The unmasking of American citizens by U.S. intelligence agencies isn’t illegal, only very rare;
— While there was no intelligence-related need for Rice to have those names unmasked, that she requested the unmasking itself wasn’t illegal, per se, just highly irregular;
— It needs to be said again that in the final days of his administration, Obama changed the rules by which raw intelligence data could be shared across a variety of intelligence agencies, thereby exponentially increasing the chances it would be leaked – which is against the law;
— Remember that former Obama Defense Department mid-level official Evelyn Farkas, who left the administration in 2015 to go work for the Clinton campaign, told her colleagues still in government to “get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can” before Obama leaves office, and then get it to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, where the possibility it would be leaked increased even more exponentially (in fact, Farkas even remarked, “That’s why you have all the leaking” during her now infamous MSNBC interview).
McCarthy, the Post and Farkas’ own admission prove beyond any doubt that what Rice was engaged in was an operation to discredit Trump and sabotage his presidency by forever tainting it with a pall of uncertainty about “Russian ties” of which no one has yet proven or provided any evidence to support. (RELATED: Obama officials caught red-handed in most explosive abuse of power in U.S. history… bigger than Watergate… is Susan Rice going to prison?)
And to assume that Barack Obama knew nothing about any of this is, frankly, naive. Or patently dishonest.
Congress can insist upon questioning Rice under oath all it wants, but she’ll plead the Fifth Amendment and won’t answer any questions. What needs to happen instead is for the Trump White House to request the Justice Department to investigate.
Americans deserve to know whether Obama and his inner circle weaponized the U.S. intelligence community for political purposes.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.