Samantha Power

June 7, 2018 – Clapper expresses doubt on Samantha Power’s claims about her role in unmasking Americans

Samantha Power (Credit: Lee Jin-man/The Associated Press)

“James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, expressed doubt on Thursday at former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power’s claims about her role in unmasking Americans’ identities in intelligence reports.”

“…It was revealed in October that Power made 260 unmasking requests during her final year in office, a rate that far surpassed her previous rate of unmaskings.”

(…) “Power told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in an interview in October that others in government made the unmasking requests under her name.

Asked about Power’s explanation by Hewitt, Clapper suggested that it is cause for concern.

“If that happened, if people usurped the authority to request unmaskings, would that concern you, Director Clapper?” Hewitt asked.

“Yeah, it would,” said Clapper.

“I don’t know quite how that would happen, you know, because the only way you can make an unmasking request is that you have authorized access to the report in question in the first place.”

“So I don’t know how that, quite how that would work,” he added.”

(Read more: The Daily Caller, 6/07/2018)

April 14, 2018 – DOJ Inspector General’s Report #1 Outlines Exhaustive Political Corruption

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“Judicial Watch Director of Investigations Chris Farrell discusses the DOJ inspector general’s report that outlines exhaustive political corruption. OIG release #1 proving former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe authorized leaks to the media, then lied to FBI investigators in an effort to cover them up.”

(…) “The (Go Deep) summary outline looks like this: The FISA-702(17) ‘About Queries’; the political opposition research of Fusion-GPS, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr and Glenn Simpson; the DOJ officials and FBI officials; the U.S. State Department and U.N Ambassador Samantha Power; the Clinton-Steele Dossier and Christopher Steele; the FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant; and the unmasking by former Senior White House officials: Lisa Monaco and Susan Rice.

The FBI group was participating in a plan to exonerate Hillary Clinton. That same FBI group was simultaneously conducting opposition research on candidate Donald Trump and the larger construct of his campaign team. Those FBI officials were allied by entities outside official government structures. The ‘outside group’ were “contractors”. It is likely one of the contractors was Fusion-GPS or entities in contact with Fusion-GPS. (Go Deep)

The contractors were using FBI intelligence databases to conduct opposition research “searches” on Trump campaign officials. This is where the use of FISA-702(16)(17) “To/From” and “About” queries comes in. (Go Deep) This FISA abuse was the allowed but unofficial process identified in early 2016 by NSA internal auditors.”  (Read More: Conservative Treehouse, 04/14/2018)

February 16, 2018 – Judicial Watch Sues State Department for Samantha Power Unmasking Documents

Samantha Power (Credit: The Associated Press)

“The former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations reportedly requested to unmask over 260 Americans in her last year in office with no explanation.

Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State for “unmasking” and other records tied to Obama’s United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power relating to the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-00300)). Unmasking refers generally to the practice of political appointees obtaining the identities of American citizens referenced in intelligence surveillance of foreign nationals.

On September 20, 2017, Fox News reported that Power unmasked over 260 persons in her last year as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in an attempt to uncover associates of President Trump. She “was ‘unmasking’ at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016,” even seeking “information in the days leading up to President Trump’s inauguration.”

On October 13, 2017, Power testified behind closed doors about this matter to the House Intelligence Committee. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, who also sits on the Intelligence Committee, stated that “Her testimony is they [the unmasking requests] may be under my name, but I did not make those requests.”

“Unmasking and then illegally leaking the names of Trump team members caught up in foreign intelligence gathering would have been an incredible, but unsurprising abuse by the Obama administration. Was the Clinton-DNC dossier also used as justification to abuse intelligence data to ‘unmask’ American citizens to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Donald Trump?” asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “And why is the Tillerson State Department stonewalling Judicial Watch’s FOIA investigation into this potentially illegal conduct by its agency employees?”

Separately, in a response to a FOIA request, Judicial Watch was told by the National Security Council (NSC) in May 2017 that the materials regarding the unmasking by Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice of “the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” have been removed to the Obama Library.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 2/16/2018)

October 13, 2017 – Samantha Power testifies intel officials made ‘unmasking’ requests in her name

Trey Gowdy walks on Capitol Hill, July 25, 2017. (Credit: Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press)

“House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said Tuesday that President Obama’s former United Nations ambassador has testified that not all of the “unmasking” requests made in her name were directed by her.

Samantha Power testified in Gowdy’s committee last week, and Fox News reported weeks before her appearance that she was thought to have made as many as 260 requests to “unmask” Americans caught up in the surveillance of non-U.S. citizens.

But Tuesday evening, Gowdy told Fox News that Power told his committee that she was not the official requesting that unmasking in every case.

“I think if she were on your show, she would say those requests to unmask may have been attributed to her, but they greatly exceed by an exponential factor the requests she actually made,” Gowdy said.

“So, that’s her testimony, and she was pretty emphatic in it,” he added. “The intelligence community has assigned this number of requests to her. Her perspective, her testimony is, they may be under my name, but I did not make those requests.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 10/17/2017)

January 20, 2016 – January 20, 2017: Samantha Power sought to unmask Americans on almost daily basis, sources say

Samantha Power (Credit: Forbes)

“Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was ‘unmasking’ at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016 – and even sought information in the days leading up to President Trump’s inauguration, multiple sources close to the matter told Fox News.

Two sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, said the requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting, known as unmasking, exceeded 260 last year. One source indicated this occurred in the final days of the Obama White House.

The details emerged ahead of an expected appearance by Power next month on Capitol Hill. She is one of several Obama administration officials facing congressional scrutiny for their role in seeking the identities of Trump associates in intelligence reports – but the interest in her actions is particularly high.

In a July 27 letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said the committee had learned “that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration.”

The “official” is widely reported to be Power.

John Brennan (l) and Trey Gowdy (Credit: CSpan)

During a public congressional hearing earlier this year, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina pressed former CIA director John Brennan on unmasking, without mentioning Power by name.

Gowdy: Do you recall any U.S. ambassadors asking that names be unmasked?

Brennan: I don’t know. Maybe it’s ringing a vague bell but I’m not — I could not answer with any confidence.

Gowdy continued, asking: On either January 19 or up till noon on January 20, did you make any unmasking requests?

Brennan: I do not believe I did.

Gowdy: So you did not make any requests on the last day that you were employed?

Brennan: No, I was not in the agency on the last day I was employed.

Brennan later corrected the record, confirming he was at CIA headquarters on January 20. “I went there to collect some final personal materials as well as to pay my last respects to a memorial wall. But I was there for a brief period of time and just to take care of some final — final things that were important to me,” Brennan said.” (Read more: Fox News, 9/20/2017)

January 1, 2016 – January 1, 2017: ‘Unmasker in Chief’ Samantha Power writes and receives anti-Trump bias in government emails

Samantha Power votes March 2, 2016 to approve the toughest sanctions on North Korea in 20 years. (Credit: Seth Wenig/The Associated Press)

(…) “It turns out that Power — the diplomat whose authority inexplicably was used to unmask hundreds of Americans’ names in secret intelligence reports during the 2016 election — engaged in similar Trump-bashing on her official government email, according to documents unearthed by an American Center for Law and Justice lawsuit. The conservative legal group is run by Trump defense attorney Jay Sekulow.

The discovery could add a new dimension — a question of political bias — to a long-running congressional investigation into why Power’s authority was used to unmask hundreds of Americans’ names in secret National Security Agency intercepts during the  election. That practice of unmasking continues to grow today.

Power’s barbs toward Trump started as early as the GOP primaries, when she used her email to connect Oskar Eustis, the artistic director at the Public Theater in New York, with oft-quoted think tank scholar Norman Ornstein, the memos show.

“Oskar, Norm will explain our political system, in a way that will fleetingly make it seem rational, though maybe not after Trump and Sanders win NH,” she wrote, predicting the future president and upstart socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would win the esteemed New Hampshire primary.

After Trump stunned the world with his general election win over Hillary Clinton, the observations of Power and those emailing her on her official government account turned more vitriolic.

“I am discouraged and frightened. Electing a right-wing president is something, but such a morally repugnant bully!” read a Nov. 14, 2016, email to Power from a sender whose name the State Department redacted for privacy reasons. The email referred to former Trump strategist Stephen Bannon as “an avowed racist” and predicted, “The worst is coming.”

There is no evidence in the released documents that Power responded or chastised the sender for using government email for such political animosity.

But there is ample evidence she engaged in similar Trump-bashing.

In December 2016, for example, when sent a news story about Trump’s effort to communicate a new policy direction for the U.N., Power snarkily replied: “This reflects the lack of understanding of history.”

When Trump announced his intent to withdraw the U.S. from a global climate deal, Power emailed a colleague: “Lord help us all.”

And when a routine diplomatic issue with Japan arose in late November 2016, Power emailed another colleague: “It is unreal how the Trump dynamic has changed things.”

Perhaps most telling are Power’s efforts to arrange media interviews and speeches during her final days in office, clearly aiming to counter the incoming president’s agenda and fan the narrative that Trump might be dangerously soft on matters involving Russia and mercilessly hard on immigrants.” (Read more: The Hill, 6/26/2019)