by WorldTribune Staff, April 27, 2017
The FBI has thus far refused the House Intelligence Committee’s requests for documents that could explain the “unmasking” of Americans in a spying operation during the Trump transition, a report said.
FBI spokesman Andrew Ames would not say why the bureau has not met the House committee’s document request. “The FBI will continue to work with our congressional oversight committees on their requests,” he told The Washington Times’ Bill Gertz.
Related: Compromised FBI deputy director, Obama’s National Security Adviser eyed in growing intel scandal, April 3, 2017
The intel committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, is investigating whether Susan Rice, national security adviser under President Barack Obama, was involved in spying on the Trump team while using foreign surveillance as cover.
According to Gertz’s report on April 26, Rice is expected to be a central witness in the coming weeks before committee investigators to explain the unmasking and wide dissemination of what Nunes has called improper electronic surveillance of Trump transition team officials.
Dozens of electronic intelligence reports appear to have revealed that information on Americans was improperly and widely disseminated throughout government during the presidential transition, Nunes said.
The attorney general guidelines for the FBI state that “compromising information concerning domestic officials or political organizations, or information concerning activities of United States persons intended to affect the political process in the United States, may be disseminated to the White House only with the approval of the attorney general.”
The sharing of compromising FBI information also must be “based on a determination that such dissemination is needed for foreign intelligence purposes, for the purpose of protecting against international terrorism or other threats to the national security, or for the conduct of foreign affairs.”
The acting attorney general at the time was Sally Yates, and the House committee is expected to question her in addition to Rice about the FBI’s role in the intelligence-gathering controversy, Gertz reported.
As previously reported by WorldTribune.com, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month asked the FBI to detail all involvement by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in the investigation into President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
Sen. Charles Grassley, in a letter to FBI Director James Comey, asked 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-on “Trump Dossier”.
“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.”