Nunes Issues Subpoenas on 'Unmasking'

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 4, 2017

The anger behind the scenes was reignited when Nunes signed off on four subpoenas sent by House Russia investigators to former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen - and also issued three subpoenas on his own, seeking information from former Obama administration officials.

USA privacy laws and intelligence regulations require that Americans' names picked up in foreign communications intercepts be concealed unless senior officials request them to be disclosed for intelligence or law enforcement purposes.

But some Republicans say he never fully recused himself but just stepped aside briefly from the Russian Federation probe and that these unmasking subpoenas are separate from the Russian Federation investigation.

In addition to those four subpoenas, the committee has issued three others - to the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the CIA - for information about requests that government officials made to "unmask" the identities of US individuals named in classified intelligence reports, according to a congressional aide.

"Nunes is not going to be able to go any further", the Democratic aide said, adding that, if he did, committee Democrats would pressure House Speaker Paul Ryan to remove Nunes as chairman.

The spy agency subpoenas were not mentioned in a bipartisan announcement on Wednesday that the panel approved subpoenas for President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in connection with the Russian Federation probe. "We will continue to pursue this investigation wherever the facts may lead".

Democrats are blocking key witness interviews in the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russia's election meddling, Politico reported.

"You often couldn't understand what was going on unless you asked for the identity of the US persons", once former official told Foreign Policy. In a new argument, a Republican aide suggested to CNN that Nunes had never formally recused himself from the investigation. The committee is also investigating possible ties between Trump associates and Russian Federation...

The Senate intelligence committee announced Comey's appearance, and a Comey associate said he had been cleared to testify by Robert Mueller, another former FBI director now overseeing that investigation as special counsel.

On Wednesday (Thursday NZT), Nunes asked the agencies for details of any requests made by two top Obama administration aides and the former Central Intelligence Agency director to "unmask" Trump campaign advisers inadvertently picked up in top-secret foreign communications intercepts, according to congressional sources.

Trump previously re-tweeted stories by The Drudge Report and Fox News that accused Obama's national security advisor, Susan Rice, of inappropriately requesting that intelligence agencies unmask the redacted names of Trump campaign officials. Or that the committee delegate to Mr. Conaway, with advice and consultation with myself. Russia's notorious, and widely mocked, Illegals Program found Russian intelligence agents attempting to pose as Americans; the spies were found, in part, because they wrote the passwords to their cryptographic software down.

Nunes responded on Twitter, saying: "Seeing a lot of fake news from media elites and others who have no interest in violations of Americans' civil liberties via unmaskings". The committee's last major move was issuing the subpoenas to Flynn and Cohen.

Schiff said he was unaware of the subpoenas until the last minute. Nunes called the accusations that he improperly shared classified information with the White House "entirely false".

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