Former National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes adds his name to the growing list of Obama official under investigation for unmasking.
Former White House National Security Advisor for President Obama, Ben Rhodes, is emerging as a person of interest in the House Intelligence Committee’s unmasking investigation according to reporting done by Circa.
According to Circa, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Tuesday sent a letter to the National Security Agency requesting the number of individuals that Rhodes asked to have unmasked from Jan. 1, 2016 to Jan. 20, 2017.
Unmasking is the practice of having the identity revealed of an American caught up in surveillance of a foreign target. Typically American citizens’ names are hidden, but intelligence officials can request to have the Americans names be revealed through a formal process if that official feels it is needed to understand the intelligence.
Circa reports that Rhodes “became a focus of the committee during its review of classified information to assess whether laws were broken regarding NSA intercepted communications of President Trump, members of his administration and other Americans before and after the election, according to congressional officials.”
Rhodes’ name is now added to the growing list of top Obama administration officials who have been named in the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the unmasking.
The Committee has also named other high-level Obama administration officials in its unmasking investigation including former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, and former CIA Director John Brennan.
In a letter sent by Nunes to Director for National Intelligence Dan Coats last week, Nunes claims that the committee has, “found evidence that current and former government officials had easy access to U.S. person information and that it is possible that they used this information to achieve partisan political purposes, including the selective, anonymous leaking of such information.”
Circa talked with a U.S. officials on the condition of anonymity who said that much of the information that Obama officials had requested to be unmasked, “had little to do with the Russian election interference scandal and some appeared to have nothing to do with national security.”
In 2016 unmasking of Americans increased by 13 percent from the previous year.
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