Congress expands ‘unmasking’ probe amid questions over Rice role

NOTE TO READER: What really bothers me in this situation, is the fact that private American citizens, in this case Trump and His people, were being investigated in the same way you investigate a suspect in a criminal case. They (intelligence) and whomever is behind this despicable act, needed to get a warrant from a court to institute the probe. R. Micallef

“In United States criminal law, probable cause is the standard by which police authorities have reason to obtain a warrant for the arrest of a suspected criminal. The standard also applies to personal or property searches. Probable cause, in conjunction with a preponderance of the evidence, also refers to the standard by which a grand jury believes that a crime has been committed. The term comes from the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
“Probable” in this case may relate to statistical probability or to a general standard of common behavior and customs. The context of the word “probable” here is not exclusive to community standards and does not predate statistics, as some have suggested.” Wikipedia

Trump was being probed the way a suspected criminal is probed, but more so because it detailed private personal information that later could be used to coerce or humiliate his presidency and his Team.  R. Micallef

Housley: Members of the Intelligence Committee and Senate continue to request information from the Intelligence agencies, now for a month, nothing much is being given, especially the FBI.

  • how frequent was the unmasking 

  • who was doing the unmasking

  • why were they being unmasked

If members of the intelligence agencies don’t turn this information over, the Congressionally approved 702 program, which allows them to do this anyway, will not be authorized. This investigation is full-blown.

Zimmerman: There is a big question about the FBI’s role in this and there is concern in the House about just generally about how the FBI is handling the case. Member of the House Intelligence Committee said they are very frustrated with the FBI.

Housley: There is a web here, there are multiple agencies involved here. There is an FBI element here. They have to go through the FISAs to the reverse targeting. The FBI, NSA as well as the CIA.  

Zimmerman:  The NSA and FBI are not cooperating with the congressional committees.  The FBI is much more difficult to be evaluated.  There are 100 questions that need to be answered and it’s been weeks.  During the open House Hearing during the 3rd week of March, they had an open hearing in the House Intelligence Committee and the House members asked James Comey, Dir. of FBI, as well as Adm. Michael S. Rogers, Dir. of NSA and they had 100 questions that they could not answer in public.  They were supposed to go into a closed sessions which never took place. James Comes has not come back to the Hill and no answers were ever given.

O’Reilly:  The attorney General has to get involved to get this going.  

Housley:  When this came out, then we had the Syrian air strikes that took place and it took over in the news cycle, and everything nowadays is made political.  Housley wants to know:  This is delicate information, sensitive information, a lot of classified information.  These are individuals who have nothing to gain and everything to lose. Number one priority is to get it right.   We have the same exact questions that the committees have.

  • What was being done here?

  • Was it more than just the Trump Transition Team?

  • Was it more than what Susan Rice has explained in the PBS interview, which didn’t seem to match?

  • What people were caught in this?

We are making progress, but because of the classifications and sensitivity here, you have to find the people, you can get the information but it has to be right, safe and honest at the same time that it will not get you in trouble with the authorities. 

O’Reilly: Zimmerman do you expect a whistleblower?

Zimmerman:  The House Intelligence Committee are hoping that some of the people who have talked with Housley and I will come forward and mention what they told us, some of the things that we are investigating.  It’s difficult, they are all in their jobs in the intelligence industry.