Andrew McCarthy, a columnist for National Review, outlined the reasons why Susan Rice had legal basis for her “unmasking” of Trump campaign and transition officials while at the National Security Agency (NSA). Yet, the implications of this scandal is that it could be yet another abuse-of-power scandal under the Obama administration:
If the new reporting is to be believed, Rice orchestrated the unmasking of communications involving the Democrats’ political rivals — the Trump campaign. Her current stress on the lawfulness of the intelligence collection is a straw man. No credible commentator is claiming (based on what we currently know) that the intelligence-collection activities of the FBI, CIA, and NSA were illegal. As I explained yesterday in my aforementioned column, the surveillance and collection operations were undertaken pursuant to statute (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) as well as to the president’s constitutional authority to collect foreign intelligence (the exercise of which authority is laid out in a longstanding executive order, EO 12,333).