Rand Paul asks Intel panel for details on any Obama-era surveillance

Greg Nash

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants the Intelligence Committee to disclose whether he or any other members of Congress were surveilled under the Obama administration or by the intelligence community.

Paul sent a letter to Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) pointing to an article from the website Circa alleging that the Obama administration circulated intelligence reports last year that included unredacted names of Americans, including members of Congress. 

“I reiterate my previous requests that your committee promptly investigate whether my name or the names of other members of Congress, or individuals from our staffs or campaigns, were included in queries or searches of databases of the intelligence community, or if their identities were unmasked in any intelligence reports or products,” Paul wrote in a letter released publicly Monday. 

He added that he also wants a “clear answer on whether your committee received a Gates notice related to me or to members of my staff,” referring to the notification Congress receives if a lawmaker’s name is revealed in an intelligence report. 

{mosads}The letter to Burr and Warner, who oversee the Senate’s Intelligence Committee, comes after Paul tweeted late last week that he had asked the White House and the Intelligence committees for details on whether the Obama administration spied on him. 

“I have formally requested from the WH and the Intel Committees info on whether I was surveilled by Obama admin and or the Intel community!” Paul tweeted Friday.

Paul also publicly released an April letter to Trump, which references the same report from Circa, shortly after his tweet. 

“An anonymous source recently alleged to me that my name, as well as the names of other members of Congress, were unmasked, queried or both in intelligence reports or intercepts during the previous administration,” Paul wrote in the letter to Trump, dated April 10. 

A recent National Security Agency (NSA) report stated that the NSA abided by nearly 2,000 requests to unmask names in 2016. But the report did not state that the NSA was unmasking names with the hope that they would turn out to be specific people. 

President Trump accused Susan Rice, former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, of improperly unmasking U.S. citizens, specifically members of his campaign, caught up in incidental surveillance. The identities of U.S. citizens are typically redacted in intelligence reports. 

The Senate Intelligence Committee, as well as a Judiciary subcommittee overseen by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), is investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Rice declined last week to testify before Graham’s subcommittee. 

Tags Barack Obama Lindsey Graham Mark Warner Rand Paul Richard Burr
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