Judicial Watch Sues State Dep't For Samantha Power's Unmasking Documents

Michael W. Chapman | February 16, 2018 | 2:37pm EST
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U.S. Amb. Susan Power
(State Department)

(CNSNews.com) -- In its ongoing effort to force the government to release documents related to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as interference by an anti-Trump FBI and Justice Department (DOJ), Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit today seeking all documents involving former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power who reportedly sought to unmask more than 260 Americans in that election year.

As Judicial Watch explained in a press release, "unmasking refers generally to the practice of political appointees obtaining the identities of American citizens referenced in intelligence surveillance of foreign nationals."

Samantha Power, 47, served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under the Obama administration from Aug. 2013 to Jan. 20, 2017. According to Fox News," Powers unmasked over 260 persons in her last year as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in an attempt to uncover associates of President Tump," said Judicial Watch. "She was 'unmasking at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016,' even seeking 'information in the days leading up to President Trump's inauguration.'"

Samantha Power, left, and President Obama. (YouTube)

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “Unmasking and then illegally leaking the names of Trump team members caught up in foreign intelligence gathering would have been an incredible, but unsurprising abuse by the Obama administration."

"Was the Clinton-DNC dossier also used as justification to abuse intelligence data to ‘unmask’ American citizens to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Donald Trump?” said Fitton.

“And why is the Tillerson State Department stonewalling Judicial Watch’s FOIA investigation into this potentially illegal conduct by its agency employees?” he said.

In its lawsuit, Judicial Watch is seeking any requests for information to any Intelligence community by Ambassador Power that involved the following:

"Any actual or suspected effort by the Russian government or any individual acting on behalf of the Russian government to influence or otherwise interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  (YouTube)

"The alleged hacking of computer systems utilized by the Democratic National Committee and/or the Clinton presidential campaign.

"Any actual or suspected communication between any member of the Trump presidential campaign or transition team and any official or employee of the Russian government or any individual acting on behalf of the Russian government.

"The identities of U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities."

When Judicial Watch sought to obtain documents concerning Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice's unmasking of "the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team," the National Security Agency (NSA) disclosed in May 2017 that all such material had been moved to the Obama Library, where it cannot be accessed for up to five years

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