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Senate Judiciary Committee targets Obama ‘unmasking’ operatives


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The Senate Judiciary Committee will take a hard look at the “unmasking” of Trump campaign and transition officials by the Obama White House at a closed-door hearing Wednesday — pushing an underexplored aspect of the scandal over Russian meddling in the November presidential election.
Former National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice and other top officials from the Obama White House have come under suspicion that they inappropriately asked to identify — “unmask” — American citizens caught up in U.S. intelligence intercepts of foreign figures under surveillance in the Russia probe, apparently trying to find out whether Mr. Trump and his top aides were caught up in the investigation.

While Republicans have led the charge for a deeper investigation into the unmasking accusations, it was a key Democrat on the Judiciary Committee who raised the issue during a public committee hearing on Tuesday, asserting that lawmakers hope to explore it more deeply with FBI officials during a classified hearing Wednesday.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat, told Carl Ghattas, executive assistant director of the FBI national security branch, that he specifically wants answers during the closed-door hearing about the leaks surrounding President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who resigned over contacts with Russia.:snip:

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