The National Security Council (NSC) notified Judiciary Watch -- a Washington-based watchdog group -- that materials concerning the unmasking allegedly ordered by Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice of “the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” were removed from federal government files. They are now in the possession of the Obama Library.
In April, Judicial Watch sent a request to the NSC for records relating to people “who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.” The unmasking relates to the identification of persons in the United States whose conversations were picked up by covert surveillance of communications. Whether some of those persons identified were part of Donald Trump’s political team has been a subject of debate and speculation.
In a May 23 letter, the NSC told Judicial Watch that it would not turn over communications with any Intelligence Community member or agency concerning the alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, the hacking of Democratic National Committee computers, or the alleged communications between Russians and President Trump’s campaign/transition officials.
The letter from the NSC read:
“Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library. You may send your request to the Obama Library. However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.”
President of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton said of the revelation: “Prosecutors, Congress, and the public will want to know when the National Security Council shipped off the records about potential intelligence abuses by the Susan Rice and others in the Obama White House to the memory hole of the Obama Presidential Library. We are considering our legal options but we hope that the Special Counsel and Congress also consider their options and get these records.”
Judicial Watch has filed six Freedom of Information Act requests for documents and materials relating alleged surveillance, unmasking, and illegal targeting of President Trump and his political organization.