Rand Paul has stepped into the spotlight as a firm conservative leader.

He led the opposition to Paul Ryan’s Obamacare 2.0 legislation.

And now he’s declared that one piece of evidence proves Barack Obama spied on Donald Trump.

Journalist Mike Cernovich was the first to break the story that Barack Obama’s former National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, had requested the unmasking of Trump officials caught up in surveillance.

Cernovich’s bombshell came on the heels of a Fox News report which revealed the Trump campaign had been under surveillance for more than a year.

Rand Paul seized on the Susan Rice report and labeled it as the smoking gun that the Obama administration was spying on Donald Trump.

But Paul wasn’t done.

He declared that Rice should be subpoenaed and made to testify under oath.

Fox News reports:

“I see no legitimate reason for her to be searching a database and unmasking people,” Paul said on “America’s Newsroom” today.

That’s why he’s calling on Rice to “testify under oath” about U.S. intelligence activities.

He said that civil libertarians like himself have been warning for years that intelligence agencies are collecting too much data on American citizens.

“Millions of Americans’ data and phone calls are in this data bank,” Paul said. “We should not let political figures search this data bank for political purpose or for any kind of personal purposes.”

Paul was playing golf with President Trump the day the Rice story broke.

He discussed the matter with Trump and said it was proof that Trump was correct about the Obama administration spying on his campaign.

Fox News also reports:

“Paul revealed that he raised this issue during his round of golf with President Trump on Sunday.

“The fact that there could be a political figure in the Obama administration that was purposely searching a database, looking for Trump officials, I think confirms exactly what the president said when he said that the Obama administration was doing something nefarious with regard to surveillance on his transition team,” Paul said. “And it sounds like they were.”

Liberal pundits were surprised Paul rose to Trump’s defense.

The two clashed during the GOP primary, and Trump easily dispatched Paul on his way to the nomination.

But Paul’s defining issue in Congress has been stopping illegal domestic spying.

He filibustered the renewal of the Patriot Act in 2015 and forced the legislation’s illegal domestic spying provisions to expire.

Congress then passed a first-step in reforming warrantless wiretapping as a result.

Paul’s defense of Trump is not partisan hackery.

It’s a principled position based on Paul’s long held beliefs that the government has accumulated too much power with its ability to spy on individuals.

The Obama administration further abused their power by unmasking American citizens and spreading the information around the government for political purposes.

And whoever leaked the existence of classified intercepts, which contained Trump officials like former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, broke the law.

And they must be held accountable.