Well, this is an interesting development.
House Republicans plan to give federal prosecutors what they say is evidence that Obama administration officials illegally shared or leaked names of associates of President Donald Trump that were incidentally collected in U.S. government eavesdropping.
The Intelligence Committee obtained information from documents and other sources that it plans to turn over to the Justice Department, likely by August, to determine whether crimes were committed, panel Chairman Devin Nunes of California said in an interview.
Nunes declined to identify the individuals he says acted improperly and would be identified in the “criminal referral” Republicans plan to submit. He also declined to specify what evidence the committee uncovered about any illegal sharing or leaking by Obama administration officials of the identities of U.S. citizens caught in surveillance. He said the relevant documents are classified.
I think the answer of why Susan Rice bailed on testifying before the House Intel Committee has just been revealed.
This is great news for both America and for the intelligence community. It has become obvious that the Obama administration was engaged in a program of unmasking identities of persons caught up in FISA communications intercepts (those who tried to defend the Obama administration keep referring to “wire taps” but that is just a lie, communications intercepts are much more extensive than covering a telephone) for partisan advantage. Not only was this willy-nilly violation of the law injurious to the rights of Americans and our political process (keep in mind, the Obama administration used intelligence intercepts of foreign, particularly Israeli, diplomats in order to keep tabs on Congressional opposition to the Iran nuclear boondoggle), but it was also destroying the Congressional consensus that FISA was a good idea. The Obama administration showed there was effectively no brake on the desire of White House staff to unmask American citizens caught in FISA intercepts. These criminal referrals are a way of righting the boat and making the law credible again.