NewsLink: Judicial Watch’s Background Notes on the Obama State Department’s Lawlessness

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Allegations of an unlawful abuse of power have resurfaced this week concerning officials in President Obama’s State Department. Both ex-National Security Advisor Susan Rice and ex-U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power have been accused of authorizing the unmasking of U.S. citizens in an attempt to achieve a political end, that of undermining then-candidate Donald Trump’s chances in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Judicial Watch expressed its suspicions of the State Department’s weaponization as early as 2017. A recent interview with Power released by Nicholas Ballasy for PJ Media corroborates what Judicial Watch has alleged and documented for years; that is that systematic efforts were made to spy on the President’s supporters and the Presidential transition team.

Read how Judicial Watch has worked to uncover the truth about State Department corruption and how media outlets are catching on:

From PJ Media: Samantha Power on Her Unmasking Requests in 2016: ‘It’s Completely False’

WASHINGTON – Former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power pushed back on reports of her frequent “unmasking” requests in 2016 during the presidential campaign, calling them “completely false.”

According to reports from several media outlets pertaining to the Russia probe, Power’s unmasking requests totaled more than 260 in 2016.”Two sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, said the requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting, known as unmasking, exceeded 260 last year,” read one report from September of 2017.

Power, now a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, was asked why she “unmasked” so many individuals in 2016 while the presidential election was underway.

Read more here

  1. From Judicial Watch: Judicial Watch Sues State Department For Samantha Power Unmasking Documents (2/16/2018)

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State for “unmasking” and other records tied to Obama’s United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power relating to the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-00300)). Unmasking refers generally to the practice of political appointees obtaining the identities of American citizens referenced in intelligence surveillance of foreign nationals.

Judicial Watch sued the State Department after it failed to respond to an October 31, 2017, FOIA request seeking information about Power’s unusual unmasking requests, including:

    • All requests for information submitted to any Intelligence Community member agency by former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power concerning, regarding, or relating to the following:

Any actual or suspected effort by the Russian government or any individual acting on behalf of the Russian government to influence or otherwise interfere with the 2016 presidential election. The alleged hacking of computer systems utilized by the Democratic National Committee and/or the Clinton presidential campaign.

Any actual or suspected communication between any member of the Trump presidential campaign or transition team and any official or employee of the Russian government or any individual acting on behalf of the Russian government.

The identities of U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.

On September 20, 2017, Fox News reported that Power unmasked over 260 persons in her last year as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in an attempt to uncover associates of President Trump. She “was ‘unmasking’ at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016,” even seeking “information in the days leading up to President Trump’s inauguration.”

Read the full press release here.

 

  1. Judicial Watch: Obama NSC Advisor Susan Rice’s Unmasking Material is at Obama Library (06/19/2017)

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced that the National Security Council (NSC) on May 23, 2017, informed it by letter that the materials regarding the unmasking by Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice of “the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” have been removed to the Obama Library.

The NSC will not fulfill an April 4 Judicial Watch request for records regarding information relating to people “who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.”

The agency also informed Judicial Watch that it would not turn over communications with any Intelligence Community member or agency concerning the alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election; the hacking of DNC computers; or the suspected communications between Russia and Trump campaign/transition officials. Specifically, the NSC told Judicial Watch:

Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library.  You may send your request to the Obama Library.  However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.

Read the full press release here.

 

  1. Judicial Watch: New State Department Documents Reveal Last-Minute Efforts by Obama State Department to Undermine President Trump (09/09/2019)

 (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 90 pages of heavily redacted U.S. Department of State documents showing Obama State Department officials’ efforts to disseminate classified information to multiple U.S. Senators immediately prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The information, which included raw intelligence, purported to show “malign” Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Among the senators receiving the classified documents were Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN).

Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a June 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department after it failed to respond to a February 2018 request seeking records of the Obama State Department’s last-minute efforts to share classified information about Russia election interference issues with Democratic Senator Ben Cardin (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-01381)).

Read the full press release here.