The House Intelligence Committee, headed by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, asked spy agencies previous year to "unmask" the names of USA residents or organizations contained in intelligence surrounding Russian meddling in the election, according to news reports Friday.
But House Intelligence committee staff members would not confirm the reports, and one said whatever subpoenas might have been issued were not part of the committee's Russian Federation probe and had not been approved by the Democrats on the committee. Trump has alleged that Obama administration officials, for political reasons, asked to know the identities of Americans whose names are masked in intelligence documents.
Trump has been trying to manufacture a scandal surrounding the Obama administration's "unmasking", or revealing identities of United States of America citizens in intelligence reports, since early March, when he went on a tweetstorm recklessly accusing Obama of wiretapping him.
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AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, R-Wis., said that while Conaway leads the Russian Federation investigation, Nunes remains the committee chairman and has the "right and responsibility to conduct oversight of the intelligence community, especially as it relates to the potential misuse of intelligence agencies against Americans".
Nunes' subpoenas focus on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the CIA and the National Security Agency - the same three agencies he and Schiff contacted in March to ask for an accounting of which USA residents' identities normally obfuscated in foreign surveillance reports had been disclosed, and why. Schiff also grumbled that Nunes' involvement in the Russian investigation "clearly violated the terms of his recusal". "The effort to try to work around him appears to be moving the committee forward", said the Democrat, who asked not to be named.
Nunes has since accused Obama officials of improperly "unmasking" Trump associates who were caught up in conversations involving individuals under surveillance. As it turns out, Nunes is likely guilty of the same innocuous intelligence practice he's tried to paint as a smoking gun for that allegation.
A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment.
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"That hasn't happened yet, and I think it's a violation of the recusal by the chairman, much in the same way I thought the Attorney-General's recusal should have covered whether he participated at all in the firing of the person leading the FBI investigation", Schiff continued. Nunes retained his power to issue subpoenas.
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017...case against him & now wants to clear his name by showing "the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan..."
Democrats on the committee largely oppose these subpoenas because they believe the intelligence agencies have been cooperative. In March, he offered to be interviewed by the committee if he would receive immunity from prosecution in return, but congressional investigators said they would not make a deal with Flynn at that time.
This is what he said on April 6 right before the House Ethics Committee announced it was investigating whether Nunes broke House rules by revealing classified information in conversations with the media about the Russian Federation investigation.
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Oh yeah, imported nuisance Nigel Farage seems to be on the FBI's radar, which indicates that the investigation is going worldwide with an eye toward tracing the connections between the Russian ratfcking, the role of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and various rightwing candidates of many lands.