Compromised FBI deputy director, Obama’s National Security Adviser eyed in growing intel scandal

by WorldTribune Staff, April 3, 2017

The world now knows spies infested every part of the 2016 U.S. election and its aftermath. But which intel-scam has the most serious ramifications for U.S. national security?

The spotlight is now shifting from the major stars of the drama such as FBI Director James Comey to his deputy who was tainted last year by reported ties with Virginia governor and longtime Clinton enthusiast Terry McAuliffe.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. /CNBC

And a new report identifies President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice as one who may have “unmasked” Trump associates through the illegal sharing of U.S. intelligence.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has asked the FBI to detail all involvement by Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in the investigation into President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.

Related: Reports of collusion with Va. governor prompt demand that top FBI official resign, Oct. 26, 2016

Sen. Charles Grassley, in a March 28 letter, told FBI Director James Comey to produce the information on McCabe, including any requests by the deputy director for surveillance on Trump’s campaign and if he played a role in the FBI’s plan to pay the author of the now-discredited but much-reported-0n “Trump Dossier”.

The Iowa Republican said he is also looking at McCabe’s deep ties to the Clinton family and their longtime friend, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, LifeZette reported on April 2.

McAuliffe helped arrange $700,000 in donations to McCabe’s wife for a state Senate run, according to the Washington Examiner.

Grassley told Comey to provide the information on McCabe to the Judiciary Committee by April 11.

Grassley also wants to know if McCabe was involved in any approvals of surveillance, which Trump claims happened during the transition.

“Has Mr. McCabe been involved in any requests or approvals for physical surveillance, consensual monitoring, searches, or national security letters relating to the investigation?” asked Grassley. “If so, please provide all related documents.”

Meanwhile, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice is said to have requested the identities of Trump associates in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions, U.S. officials said.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, conducted the review of Rice’s requests, according to two U.S. officials who spoke with Bloomberg View’s Eli Lake 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 Bloomberg report said.

Grassley said he remains suspicious about McCabe’s involvement in the Trump dossier, written by former British spy Christopher Steele.

“Was Mr. McCabe involved in any FBI interactions with Mr. Steele?” Grassley asked in the letter to Comey. “If so, please explain.”

Grassley reminded Comey of a letter from former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that the current director keeps on his desk.

“At your speech last Thursday at the University of Texas, you referenced former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s short letter to Attorney General Robert Kennedy, which sought authorization for FBI surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. without any proper basis for doing so,” Grassley wrote. “You mentioned that you keep this letter on your desk, and place FISA applications awaiting your review on top of it, as a reminder. You cited this to emphasize the importance of oversight over the FBI, even over well-meaning FBI officials, to ensure the propriety of the FBI’s actions.”