Bloomberg‘s Eli Lake, who seems to have become the Congressman Nunes whisperer, reports:
White House lawyers last month discovered that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The pattern of Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like “U.S. Person One.”
The National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, was conducting the review, according to two U.S. officials who spoke with Bloomberg View on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. In February Cohen-Watnick discovered Rice’s multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons in intelligence reports that related to Trump transition activities. He brought this to the attention of the White House General Counsel’s office, who reviewed more of Rice’s requests and instructed him to end his own research into the unmasking policy.
…The standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything. This suggests Rice’s unmasking requests were likely within the law.
Here’s an important question: who ordered Cohen-Watnick, a junior DIA analyst promoted to a senior directorship on the National Security Staff by former National Security Advisor LTG Flynn way above his level of expertise and experience, to conduct this review? Was it LTG Flynn before he was fired on 13 February 2017? Was it the now reassigned KT McFarland? Was it someone above Cohen-Watnick in the Administration chain of command? This is an important question that needs to be answered! Unless Cohen-Watnick had a need to know this – as in was ordered to conduct such a review – as part of his duties as the NSC’s Senior Director for Intelligence Policy, his accessing of this material is a violation of classification and compartmentalization protocols. As is his dissemination of such information.
Bradley Moss, an attorney specializing in cases regarding security clearances and national security, has made a most prescient observation and prediction:
Noah Rothman has made an important discovery and is reporting that:
Rothman is referring to this Medium post from yesterday, 2 APR 2017, by Mike Cernovich. It now appears that Cernovich’s claims that he, at least, and other prominent members of the alt-right have ongoing contacts with senior White House/Administration officials. What Rothman is reporting, that, at least, Cernovich’s ties are accurate, this is important news. It shows that the white nationalist/white supremacist/neo-NAZI community that goes by the more respectable name the alt-right actually has a solid connection to the new Administration. This is disturbing on many levels. Not least is where the flow of information went: Cernovich, Zero Hedge, InfoWars, Gateway Pundit.
What is even more interesting is that someone seems to have fed the info to Fox and Friends, which is where the President saw it:
Back to Susan Hennessy a former attorney in the US Intelligence Community and now a Senior Fellow at Brookings:
A lot of unpleasant material is going to be thrown at a lot of walls today in very short order.