The alleged Russian election interference has shed light on some of the questionable things Obama’s administration did, such as “unmask” the names of Trump officials.
Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice has refused to appear before a Senate subcommittee to give her testimony on what she knows about the unmaskings. Yet Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) refuses to give up, stating, “There are other ways to invite people other than via a letter. There are things called subpoenas. You shouldn’t have to use it with a former national security adviser, but if you do, you do.”
“Masking” is when an American’s name is included as part of intelligence operations on a foreign target. Automatically, intelligence officials are required to black out that name. But sometimes, if it’s determined to be relevant to the investigation or to understanding the report, that name can be requested and “unmasked.”
Susan Rice has been accused of improperly unmasking members of Trump’s team during the election last year. Initially, she denied any involvement saying, “I know nothing about this.” But as the investigation continued and evidence came to light, she admitted to requesting their names as part of an unmasking.
Rice’s unmasking requests would not be considered illegal if there was a strong justification for it, such as threats to national security or if previous evidence of Russian collusion existed. But if no such threats are found, and the Russia collusion either didn’t exist at the time, or worse, is revealed to have been a hoax, the requests would be considered political espionage.
In other words, if there was no legitimate reason to request those names, then it was done solely for the purpose of gathering dirt on Trump and his team in order to influence the election against Trump. This is illegal.
Considering this, it’s incredibly suspicious that Rice would initially lie about it and then refuse to testify if the requests were supposed to be legal and justified, as claimed in the first place. If there’s no wrongdoing, why hide it?
That Rice has refused to testify because she believes the investigation isn’t bipartisan. According to a statement released by her lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, “Senator Whitehouse has informed us by letter that he did not agree to Chairman Graham’s invitation to Ambassador Rice, a significant departure from the bipartisan invitations extended to other witnesses. Under these circumstances, Ambassador Rice respectfully declines Senator Graham’s invitation to testify.”
Gowdy denies any partisan reason for seeking Rice’s testimony, saying, “Members of Congress don’t pick the witnesses. Lawyers don’t pick witnesses. The facts pick the witnesses. And whether Ambassador Rice likes it or not, she’s a really important fact witness.”
The investigation into Russia and Trump collusion was based solely on allegations by Democrats rather than any actual evidence. This has proven surprisingly beneficial to Republicans. Signs have been surfacing that it wasn’t the Russians, or Trump, who were trying to rig the election, but Democrats who were sabotaging campaigns and colluding with foreign entities to sway the election illegitimately.
If it’s revealed there were, in fact, efforts by Obama’s administration to sabotage Trump’s campaign, this investigation should see different people targeted–people the media will, no doubt, go to great lengths to defend.
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