Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), head of the Judiciary Committee, is asking for a complete list of Obama officials who tried to unmask names of Trump-related officials between the Nov. 8, 2016 election and the end of January 2017.
On May 13, the Director of National Intelligence, currently led by acting head Richard Grenell, released the names of 39 Obama officials who wanted to "unmask" then National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
When innocent U.S. citizens are captured during wiretaps on legitimate targets, intel agencies are supposed to "mask" or hide their names in the records-- even from other intelligence officials-- to protect the citizens' Constitutional rights and be sure the information cannot be misused for political or nefarious purposes.
Revealing or "unmasking" a U.S. citizen's name within the federal government is supposed to be extremely rare and a carefully controlled process. The recently released records show dozens of Obama officials requested to unmask Flynn prior to Trump's inauguration. Somebody then illegally leaked his name and details of a government investigation related to him to the media.
Shortly after Trump was elected, President Obama reportedly advised Trump not to hire Flynn. Flynn, a Democrat, had worked for the Obama administration but parted ways amid disputes, including the administration's insistence that Islamic extremist terrorism not be called "Islamic." Flynn had insisted that they needed to accurately define the terrorism to be able to fight it.
Flynn had also let it be known that he intended to "clean up" abuses and misconduct inside the U.S. intelligence agencies among some allegedly bad actors.
In a letter to Grenell and Attorney General William Barr, Sen. Graham is asking for a list of everyone who wanted to "unmask" anyone associated with the Trump campaign or transition team.
The list of officials Graham names in his letter include: Trump, Trump, Jr,, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Sam Clovis, Chris Christie, Carter Page and George Papadopoulous.
Graham is also asking to see the reason given for any requests.
Those involved in the unmasking requests and some others who defend the requests say it is routine and common to unmask Americans. They say there were no political or improper motives.
Read Sen. Graham's letter by clicking the link below: