Catherine Herridge at Fox has more information about the Susan Rice “unmasking” scandal-in-the-making and it has a couple of unusual things: It has a named source. And it has details.
First, the named source. NY Congressman Pete King. This is not a shocker. If anyone on the House Intelligence Committee was going to give out details it was going to be Pete King. Not to say this isn’t bad, Pete King is the guy who revealed that the intelligence community claims that Russia always favors Republicans to Democrats and used that “fact” as part of their assessment of Russia’s intent in the 2016 election.
Now the information:
The intelligence reports at the center of the Susan Rice unmasking controversy were detailed, and almost resembled a private investigator’s file, according to a Republican congressman familiar with the documents.
“This is information about their everyday lives,” Rep. Peter King of New York, a member of the House Intelligence committee said. “Sort of like in a divorce case where lawyers are hired, investigators are hired just to find out what the other person is doing from morning until night and then you try to piece it together later on.”
This is not unexpected. People have been bandying about the word “wiretap” like that actually has some meaning in the universe of NSA surveillance operations. Conversations via phone are going to be one part of it but so, too, will be compromising smartphones and other “smart” devices to provide video and audio of meetings. You can bet email is also in that “incidental” surveillance. If Rice was really trying to use foreign targets as a back door to monitor the activities of the Trump transition… and I’m still waiting for a lucid explanation of why a non-intelligence, non-law enforcement person would have any need to do that… you can bet that a lot of stuff was collected.
I suspect, as we dig into this, we’re going to start finding that some of the “incidental” surveillance that was carried out was pretty damned targeted.