The future Barack Obama Presidential Center will be a significant site for those wishing to better understand one of the most historically important presidencies in American history. Documents to be housed at the Obama library will also provide invaluable insight into controversies currently playing out in the alleged Russian election interference inquiry.
The government watchdog group Judicial Watch informed the public of a letter it received from the National Security Council, in which it is revealed that documents related to the unmasking of Trump campaign officials by Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice have been moved to the Obama library.
Judicial Watch has aggressively worked to obtain information on a number of Obama-era government scandals. The organization has filed six Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits just in the case of the surveillance and illegal leaking targeting Donald Trump and his associates.
The FOIA request pertaining to the unmasking of Trump colleagues by Susan Rice had a timeframe of January 1, 2016, to April 4, 2017. But the National Security Council (NSC) says it will not fulfill the request.
In a letter sent to Judicial Watch, NSC wrote that it sent materials regarding the unmasking of “the identities of any US citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” to the Obama library.
Judicial Watch made a number of requests in their petition to NSC, including a request for information related to “[a]ny 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.”
The watchdog group also sought documents regarding “the alleged hacking of computer systems utilized by the Democrat National Committee and/or the Clinton presidential campaign.”
In response to the government’s surveillance and wiretapping of the Trump campaign, Judicial Watch attempted to obtain information about “[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.”
Specifically, Judicial Watch petitioned the agency for documents pertaining to National Security Adviser Susan Rice and her staff. As reported by Christian News Alerts, Rice unmasked the identities of key Trump associates like Mike Flynn, Steve Bannon, and Jared Kushner. Rice allegedly carried out the unmasking in order to learn about the United Arab Emirates crown prince’s visit to New York last year.
Christian News Alerts also covered the controversial revelation that former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power requested the unmasking of 260 names during her last days in the Obama administration. The immense number of unmaskings was unprecedented for any White House official, especially for a UN ambassador.
Despite the mainstream media’s repeated negative critique of Trump for slamming the wiretapping carried out against his campaign, CNN has reported that the FBI under Obama did indeed wiretap former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, including his conversations with Trump.
These events raise ethical questions about how the Obama administration wielded its powers against the campaign of the opposition party. The documents in the Obama library archives may shed further light on the matter, but the Presidential Records Act dictates that Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years.
In the end, the public will have to wait five years to find out the truth, all because documents were moved to the Obama library in what appears to be an act of defiance by Obama-sympathetic holdovers.