Barack Obama’s former National Security Advisor Susan Rice is in the spotlight.
She’s admitted to unmasking Trump officials in intelligence reports.
And in an interview with the New York Times, Trump responded to the news by accusing her of committing a serious crime.
The New York Times reports:
“The interview with The Times was supposed to be focused on Mr. Trump’s plans for large-scale spending on the nation’s infrastructure. But moments after it began, the president began talking about Ms. Rice.
“I think the Susan Rice thing is a massive story. I think it’s a massive, massive story. All over the world,” Mr. Trump said.
“It’s a bigger story than you know,” the president added cryptically, also saying that new information would emerge “in terms of what other people have done also.”
“The Russia story is a total hoax. There has been absolutely nothing coming out of that,” he said.
Turning the subject to Ms. Rice, the president said: “What’s happened is terrible. I’ve never seen people so indignant, including many Democrats who are friends of mine.”
Writing for LawNewz, Robert Barnes explained how Rice’s actions were criminal:
“Some defenders of Rice suggests she could label anything she wanted of “foreign intelligence value,” under the implementing regulatory protocols and thereby label it “foreign intelligence information” under the statute. The law is not so broad. Instead, the statute requires “foreign intelligence information” be “necessary to” the “conduct” of “foreign affairs” and to the person’s position, and further employs a more limiting specific definition in the regulations in USSID for warrant-less seizures, as necessary to make it constitutional under the 4th Amendment. That definition is limited to criminal conduct type behavior, or its security equivalent. That is why the regulatory protocols give specific “examples of the type of information that meet this standard” of “foreign intelligence value.” What are those examples? Criminal-type behavior or imminent security risks. Why those restrictions? Because that makes it conform to the First and Fourth Amendment limitations on the intercept of Americans’ private political conversations. The examples are not prohibitive of like conduct being included, but it must be like conduct — e.g., criminal-type behavior or imminent-safety risk. Why? So it can be constitutional under the 4th Amendment, because the act of unmasking is an act of invading Americans’ privacy, covered by the 4th Amendment, and political speech in private is a right protected by the First Amendment. This is the biggest mistake the Obama defenders have been making, and reflects their lack of understanding of the law’s Constitutional context and legislative history. Put most simply, neither the 1st Amendment nor the 4th Amendment has a “talking to foreigners” exception.”
Others claim the bar is much higher and one would have to prove that Rice accessed the information for political purposes.
But even this standard could be met.
National Review’s Andrew McCarthy explained that the only reason Rice would want to unmask Trump officials would be to carry out the political work of the Democrat Party:
“The national-security adviser is not an investigator. She is a White House staffer. The president’s staff is a consumer of intelligence, not a generator or collector of it. If Susan Rice was unmasking Americans, it was not to fulfill an intelligence need based on American interests; it was to fulfill a political desire based on Democratic-party interests.”
Accusing Rice of committing a crime was not something Donald Trump just made up or “claimed without providing evidence.”
His accusations are based on the law.