Tuesday's HOT MIC
Former President Barack Obama’s intelligence chief issued revised procedures in 2013 that made it easier for executive branch officials to “unmask” the names of lawmakers or congressional staffers caught up in intelligence intercepts overseas, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Hill.
Procedures issued by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in March 2013 formally supplanted a 1992 set of rules that made the dissemination of names of intercepted lawmakers or congressional aides an act of last resort.
The new standard allowed for a lawmaker’s or staffer’s name to be unmasked if “an executive branch recipient of intelligence” believed that learning “the identity of the Member of Congress or the Congressional staff is necessary to understand and assess the associated intelligence and further a lawful activity of the recipient agency,” according to a memo released earlier this month by the DNI's office with little public fanfare.
Brick by brick, the wall protecting the Deep State -- led by Clapper, former CIA director John Brennan, former national security adviser Susan Rice (very hard to type that without laughing) and former UN ambassador Samantha Power -- is being broken down.
Intelligence officials familiar with the process say there was no political motive behind the new standard and that the changes authorized by Clapper largely codified practices that had been adapting in the intelligence community over several years.
So what? If you believe there was no "political motive" behind the expanded unmasking program, then you'll also believe that Lois Lerner was simply a dispassionate public servant at the IRS and Eric Holder knew absolutely nothing about the "Fast and Furious" gunrunning program along the southwest border.
When Robert Mueller finally finishes examining Donald Trump's old expense accounts, he might want to get on this.