Monday morning, Judge Andrew Napolitano stated that the accusations of the Obama administration spying on United States senators are “most likely true.”
Sen. Rand Paul claimed last Wednesday that he and at least one other senator were surveilled by the Obama administration, and said it should be a much more important story than any allegations about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the presidential election:
It’s about your own government spying on the opposition party. That would be enormous if it’s true.
On May 5, Sen. Paul formally requested that the White House and intelligence committees release all information on whether or not he was surveilled by the Obama administration.
Today, Fox Business Channel host Maria Bartiromo described the gravity of the claims:
Judge, these are very strong accusations.
Well, they’re most likely true. Think of this as a three-step process: Surveillance, which is acquisition in a digital version of every keystroke on every computer, and every communication on every cell phone phone and landline phone; storage, which is the maintenance of the digital versions of these communications; and then unmasking, which is accessing this data and finding out the names of the people who are actually surveilled.
It is beyond dispute that the NSA has access to, if it wants, it would be unlawful for them to do this, but they have it, every phone call of every person in the United States of America since 2005.
Napolitano recalled that Justice Antonin Scalia told him four or five years ago that he often thought the Supreme Court was being surveilled:
It is the use to which the raw intelligence data can be put that makes it criminal. If they had to unmask Senator’s Paul’s name in order to understand a conversation he was having with a foreign agent and the foreign agent was harmful to the United States, they can do that. That’s not what [Senator Paul] talking about. They’re talking about them unmasking him while he’s having a conversation with his campaign manager when he’s running in the Republican primary in 2016.
The use of intelligence data for political purposes is a felony … Unmasking is illegal if done for any reason other than national security.