GOP staffers on Capitol Hill expect to receive “smoking gun” evidence that officials in former President Barack Obama’s departing administration used long-standing surveillance programs to indirectly spy on President Donald Trump’s team before the inauguration, says Fox News.
Various news reports suggest — but do not prove — that Trump’s team was tracked by officials who inappropriately monitored, “unmasked” and leaked the information about the Trump team that was sucked up by routine worldwide electronic surveillance of foreign intelligence targets. By law, any information inadvertently collected about Americans — such as phone calls or emails — is supposed to be “masked” by privacy regulations, and is also kept secret from the public by need-to-know classification rules.
According to Fox:
Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by [intelligence] committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms at a bombshell Wednesday afternoon news conference, came from multiple sources, Capitol Hill sources told Fox News. The intelligence corroborated information about surveillance of the Trump team that was known to Nunes, sources said, even before President Trump accused his predecessor of having wiretapped him in a series of now-infamous tweets posted on March 4.
The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources.
The key to that conclusion is the unmasking of selected U.S. persons whose names appeared in the intelligence, the sources said, adding that the paper trail leaves no other plausible purpose for the unmasking other than to damage the incoming Trump administration.
Read it all here.