The Russia investigation continues. Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Powers, has announced that she will testify before the House intelligence committee. Lawmakers believe that the Obama official may have information pertaining to the so-called “unmasking scandal,” in which the administration leaked the identities of Trump campaign workers.
Ostensibly to collect information on Russian election hacking efforts, intelligence agencies under Obama investigated Trump associates with ties to Moscow. Names that were amassed during the investigation were unlawfully revealed.
“Ambassador Powers strongly supports any bipartisan effort to investigate and address Russia’s interference in our electoral process and she wanted to engage both the House and Senate Committees charged with investigating it,” David Pressman, an attorney representing Power, said in a statement.
“Ambassador Power is very much looking forward to providing any assistance and encouragement she can to bipartisan efforts aimed at addressing this serious threat to our nation’s security.”
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper appeared before the House and Senate on Monday, while several other key Obama officials plan to testify later week. Power has not yet revealed when she will appear on Capitol Hill.
According to Fox News:
“The number of people thought to be involved in the alleged “unmasking” of American citizens under the Obama administration could be expanding…the records suggest the unmasking ‘goes beyond’ key officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power…more than a half-dozen former senior Obama administration officials are now of interest to House committee investigators.”
The House committee has been preparing to hear from Susan Rice for weeks. She was originally going to appear this week, but the session has been postponed indefinitely. Rice’s testimony is expected to be even more explosive than Power’s.
The talking heads crowing about collusion on TV are ignoring the real meat of the Russia investigation. The Obama administration not only ignored signs of Russian interference in the election, but used the nation’s intelligence agencies to smear Trump’s reputation. Power and Rice will be questioned over their involvement in the unmasking scandal. Who knows what they might reveal?
“I leaked nothing to nobody, and never have,” Rice told MSNBC in March.
The House investigation has multiple focal points. Yes, they are looking into the Democrats’ allegations of collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, but they’re also inquiring into the evidence of Russia’s supposed involvement with our last election and “the use of intelligence authorities to investigate the Trump campaign, an inquiry that focuses on whether national-security powers (such as those codified in FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) were used pre textually, for the real purpose of conducting political spying.”
The National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy writes: “Of course, the fact that a subpoena demanding information is issued does not necessarily mean the information exists. Nevertheless, the issuance of a subpoena implies that the issuer has a good-faith basis to believe it does. On that score, it has previously been reported that the committee’s chairman, Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), has reviewed intelligence reporting and detected instances of unmasking.”
The Russia investigation is intriguing because so much of it appears to be hearsay. Democrats are clamoring for impeachment despite the fact that most of the evidence that exists indicts them far more than the president. Team Obama engaged in shady, underhanded practices whereas Trump’s worst sin is his refusal to repulse Vladimir Putin. A “sin” that may result in reduced tensions between the U.S. and Russia.
Powers was considered to be incompetent even before Obama left office. Her tenure was marked by weak indecision. She never spoke up about the war in Syria, nor did she defend U.S. ally Israel from the United Nation’s repeated attacks.
However, her current crisis may represent the lowest moment in her career.