Circa has formally requested that the Trump administration declassify records showing how often government officials have searched National Security Agency intercepts for intelligence on U.S. presidential candidates, members of Congress, journalists, clergy, lawyers, federal judges and doctors and how often such Americans had their identities unmasked by the intelligence community after Barack Obama made it easier to do so in 2011.
The request follows an exclusive Circa report on Wednesday that revealed that the Obama administration conducted more than 35,000 searches on NSA intercepts seeking information about Americans during the divisive 2016 election year.
“The law makes President Trump the ultimate declassifying authority, and we believe the president can answer many troubling questions by declassifying this information, including how often First Amendment protected professionals had their privacy impacted by NSA intercepts and why some of Trump’s own aides were unmasked in NSA data by the prior White House,” said John Solomon, the chief operating officer of Circa and the author of Wednesday’s story.
President Obama Sought NSA Intel On 1000s Of Americans During The 2016 Election
During his final year in office, President Obama’s team significantly expanded efforts to search National Security Agency intercepts for information about Americans, distributing thousands of intelligence reports across government with the unredacted names of U.S. residents in the midst of a divisive 2016 presidential election.
The data, made available this week by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, provides the clearest evidence to date of how information accidentally collected by the NSA overseas about Americans was subsequently searched and disseminated after President Obama loosened privacy protections to make such sharing easier in 2011 in the name of national security. A court affirmed his order.
The revelations are particularly sensitive since the NSA is legally forbidden from directly spying on Americans and its authority to conduct warrantless searches on foreigners is up for renewal in Congress later this year. And it comes as lawmakers investigate President Trump’s own claims that his privacy was violated by his predecessor during the 2016 election.
In all, government officials conducted 30,355 searches in 2016 seeking information about Americans in NSA intercept metadata, which include telephone numbers and email addresses. The activity amounted to a 27.5 percent increase over the prior year and more than triple the 9,500 such searches that occurred in 2013, the first year such data was kept.
Republicans are angry, but not surprised that the NSA collected data on Americans
Issa said it is up to American’s to pressure their representatives for change to surveillance rules.
“I think Americans, through their Congress, are going to have to tighten up the rules,” the California Republican said.
He added that Americans should call on Congress to change the rules “in a way that codifies for all time that Americans are not to be spied on and that unmasking should be extremely limited and must be justified in far greater ways than it has in the past.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) another member of the Judiciary Committee said he and some of his colleagues had suspected the searches were increasing.
Did Obama give government agencies the power to harass the unredacted?
Calling on Judicial Watch: Detailed research is needed on how NSA intelligence with the unredacted names of thousands of US citizens during the 2016 election campaign may have been put to use.
Follow-up is needed to see what happened to thousands of citizens whose names were distributed throughout government agencies under the orders of the President Barack Hussein Obama administration—in effect giving them the power of harassment.
Were any of them subject to IRS audits? Did any face overnight harassment from government agencies such as the BLM or EPA and other alphabet government agencies?
What was the Obama team’s intention in passing on a thousands-person-strong list to a bevy of government agencies?
Why are so few in the mainstream media reporting on the story that CIRCA broke yesterday?
Talk Show radio host Mark Levin reported on the Circa blockbuster last night, which was likely why KNSS Radio followed suit. The story is posted in the middle column of Drudge, but at the time this story is being written, no FoxNews or much MSM.
Are the missing MSM headlines because the MSM does not want readers to know that it was the Obama team and not Vladimir Putin on spy duty during the 2016 presidential election?
Judicial Watch, demand a list of the names of all of the unredacted.
President Trump, do everything possible to make sure none of these people come to any harm.
h/t Daniel Higdon