On Wednesday morning, the House Intelligence Committee interviewed Susan Rice for just over 4 hours. Rice, the former national security adviser, was interviewed to gather more information on the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Representative Mike Conaway (Republican-Texas), who is leading the investigation, said that Rice answered lawmakers’ questions but refused to provide any further information.
The panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff (California), declined to make any comments regarding the interview.
Rice has been in the middle of a controversy over “unmasking.” Unmasking is a process that allows officials the right to request an unknown cloaked identity of an American caught up in U.S. surveillance.
Americans typically have the right to their privacy, but officials can unmask internally to give context about the potential value of the intelligence.
If there is a compelling reason to do so, officials have the authority to unmask individuals.
Committee chairman, Devin Nunes (Republican-California), made several accusations against former Obama political aides. He claimed that they made hundreds of unmasking requests during the 2016 presidential race, including allegedly unmasking Trump transition team officials.
Rice, who previously worked for the Obama Administration, declined accusations that claimed Obama’s administration inappropriately spied on Trump or his transition team.
After Nunes made a trip to the White House to view documents and information, he wrote a letter to National Intelligence Dan Coats, saying, “current and former government officials had easy access to U.S. person information. It is possible that they used this information to achieve partisan political purposes, including the selective, anonymous leaking of such information.”
Mike Conaway did say, “Separate and apart from [Rice’s] conversations, I agree that [Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] is going to be harder.”
What are your thoughts? Did the Obama administration make “hundreds of unmasking requests?”
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Credit: The Hill