On Monday, Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake published a bombshell report that Susan Rice, national security adviser to Barack Obama, “requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign.”
Normally, the names of Americans are blacked out on foreign intelligence reports. But Rice repeatedly requested for the names to be “unmasked,” and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants her to testify under oath to answer why:
“I don’t think we should discount how big a deal it was that Susan Rice was looking at these, and she needs to be asked, did President Obama ask her to do this? Was this a directive from President Obama?” Paul told reporters.
“I think she ought to testify under oath on this. I think she should be asked under oath, did she reveal it to The Washington Post.”
“I think they were illegally basically using an espionage tool to eavesdrop or wiretap — if you want to use the word generally — on the Trump campaign,” Paul said.
Paul used the incident to bolster his case for the reform of a controversial FISA rule which allows the U.S. intelligence community to target foreigners without a warrant. The intelligence community, Paul argues, uses the rule as a loophole to eavesdrop on Americans without a warrant:
“I think it is inappropriate and it should be illegal,” Paul said of the incidental collection on Americans without a warrant. “I don’t think you should be allowed to listen to Americans’ conversations without a warrant. They are doing it without a warrant. They are targeting a foreigner, and because they are targeting a foreigner they are gathering all of this information on Americans.”
Rice, for her part, denies she did anything wrong.