By J. D. Heyes, editor-in-chief
(NationalSentinel)Â Corruption:Â Someone very senior in former President Obama’s intelligence apparatus is responsible for unmasking – perhaps illegally – several members of President Donald J. Trump’s campaign and transition team,Â Fox News reported Friday.
The responsible party isÂ â€œvery well known, very high up, very senior in the intelligence world,” a source told the news network.
What’s more, the report said, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes – who has been on the trail of this since January, other reports have said – knows who the person is, and it is not someone within the FBI, meaning it isn’t Director James Comey, as some may have suspected.
For a private citizen to be â€œunmasked,â€ or named, in an intelligence report is extremely rare. Typically, the American is a suspect in a crime, is in danger or has to be named to explain the context of the report.
The unmasking of Americans whose communications apparently were caught up in surveillance under the Obama administration is a key part of an investigation being led by Nunes, who has come under fire from Democrats for focusing on that aspect.Â
Nunes has known about the unmasking controversy since January, when two sources in the intelligence community approached him. The sources told Nunes who was responsible and at least one of the Trump team names that was unmasked. They also gave him serial numbers of reports that documented the activity.
This was long before Trump sent out his now-infamous March 4 tweets claiming then-President Barack Obama â€œwiretappedâ€ Trump Tower during the 2016 election.
â€œThe main issue in this case, is not only the unmasking of these names of private citizens, but the spreading of these names for political purposes that have nothing to do with national security or an investigation into Russiaâ€™s interference in the U.S. election,â€ a congressional source close to the investigation told Fox News.
Nunes was also getting stonewalled by some of the very intelligence agencies his committee is charged with overseeing. Â As we have reported, one of those entities was the FBI, leading some to believe that maybe Comey had allowed the FBI to become overtly politicized during the Obama era. Nunes himself said the FBI wasn’t cooperating, at that point, anyway.
Despite the stonewalling, eventually Nunes was able to review reports substantiating the improper surveillance and unmasking – which leads us to why he went to the White House grounds last week:
He eventually was able to view them, but there was only one safe place to see the documents without compromising the sourcesâ€™ identities — the old executive office building on White House grounds, which has a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) required to view classified or top secret reports. The White House did not tell Nunes about the existence of the intelligence reports, but did help him gain access to the documents at his request, the source said.
So in other words, Nunes did the right thing – protecting the intelligence, unlike Hillary Clinton, who exposed it using her home-brew email server.
ThenÂ Fox News droppedÂ this bomb as well: Team Trump was under surveillance for aÂ lot longerÂ than anyone ever knew or suspected:
The communications collected from Trump team associates apparently were picked up during surveillance of foreign targets. But an intelligence source familiar with those targets said they were spied on long before Trump became the GOP presidential nominee in mid-July.
Why? Remember when no one thought Trump had a chance of winning the GOP nomination, let alone a head-to-head match-up with Hillary Clinton?
In any event, additional explosive information became known last week as well. In an appearance onÂ MSNBCÂ earlier this month that initially went unnoticed, Dr. Evelyn Farkas, a mid-tier Defense Department official in the Obama administration,Â admittedÂ thatÂ the intelligence community not only spied on Team Trump, but theÂ went to great lengths to spread that intelligence throughout the Obama White House – which, she said, “explains the leaking.”
In the interview, she also appeared to suggest that she asked Obama administration staff members to gather as much info on Team Trump as possible, then pass it along to Capitol Hill while spreading it throughout the Executive Branch, in order for the intelligence to be â€œhidden away in the bureaucracy,â€ so the incoming Trump administration wouldnâ€™t â€œcompromise those sources and methods.â€
â€œI was urging my former colleagues, and frankly speaking toÂ people on the Hill, it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration.
â€œBecause I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left, so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy â€¦ thatÂ the Trump folks â€“Â if they found out how we knew what we knew about their â€¦ the Trump staff dealing with Russians â€“ that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.â€
She then said, â€œThatâ€™s why you have the leaking. People are worried.â€
Now she is walking back her very clear comments, claiming that she herself wasn’t in government at the time so she didn’t doÂ anything – except that she saidÂ she did during herÂ MSNBC interview.
The Trump administration has also taken note of Farkas’ comments, with spokesman Sean Spicer calling them “devastating” in his Friday press briefing.
Speaking of the media, like their Democratic allies in Congress, they continue to change the narrative and make this all about Nunes – blaming him for going to the White House grounds to view the intelligence, then sharing it with the president (a very interested party) and House Speaker Paul Ryan before sharing it with the whole intelligence committee. He’s apologized for that, though personally, he shouldn’t have, as he has done nothing wrong.
Spicer, as usual, is having none of that; he keeps reminding the lamestream press thatÂ the story is not Nunes, it is that the president and his team were not only improperly surveilled, but that their identities were improperly “unmasked” – a violation of U.S. law -Â likely for political purposes. But then, to admitÂ that and report on that would be admitting Â that the Obama administration – and possibly the imperial president himself – misused and politicized the U.S. intelligence community.
We have predicted that Trump would be vindicated in his March 4 tweet accusing the prior administration of “wire tapping” him and his transition team. That vindication is coming.