By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) In an appearance on Fox News with Sean Hannity Tuesday night, The Hill‘s ace investigative reporter and columnist John Solomon said newly uncovered emails have, after more than two years, finally uncovered the “nexus” of who was ultimately responsible, other than former President Obama, for the improper unmasking of hundreds of American citizens whose names were contained in highly classified reports.
Solomon, who said bigger news was coming on Wednesday, nevertheless could report that emails he’s reviewed thus far indicate that former UN Ambassador Samantha Power was at the center of those extremely unusual requests.
In 2016 alone, Hannity noted, there was a 350 percent increase in the unmasking of Americans, confidential sources, and other classified information that is normally very closely kept by intelligence agencies.
“Why was that?” he asked.
Solomon noted that he has obtained emails from Power around the time she reportedly requested to “unmask” more than 260 Americans whose identities were caught up in the surveillance of non-U.S. citizens.
He noted further that the government emails indicate the “same sort of anti-Trump bias” that was evident in text messages exchanged by ex-FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page as they were involved in the sham investigation into Hillary Clinton’s criminal mishandling of classified emails and the so-called “Spygate” probe involving the 2016 Trump campaign.
“I can tell you that Samantha Power and her colleagues were doing the same thing on the official State email system,” Solomon said. “And when you see her tomorrow, what she was saying about Trump at the same time these unmaskings were going on, I am certain it’s going to trouble the American public.”
Power’s name has come up a number of times since after POTUS Trump was inaugurated as having been tied to the unmaskings. In August 2017 the Washington Free Beacon reported:
Former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power is believed to have made “hundreds” of unmasking requests to identify individuals named in classified intelligence community reports related to Trump and his presidential transition team, according to multiple sources who said the behavior is unprecedented for an official in her position.
Later, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Powers would testify before Congress that “others in the intelligence community used her name obtain this unprecedented unmasking.
“According to the Committee Chairman Representative Trey Gowdy, her only defense was it’s not me it’s my subordinates,” the legal group noted in a press release.
Gowdy told Fox News in 2018:
Her testimony is they may be under my name, but I did not make those requests . . . .
I think if she were on your show, she would say those requests to unmask may have been attributed to her, but they greatly exceed by an exponential factor the requests she actually made . . . . So, that’s her testimony, and she was pretty emphatic in it . . . .
So, we’ve got to get to the bottom of that. If there is someone else making requests on behalf of a principal in the intelligence community, we need to know that because we’re getting ready to reauthorize a program that’s really important to the country, but also has a masking component to it.”
Solomon and Hannity also both noted that Obama signed an order just weeks before he left the White House allowing the sharing of raw data across all 17 intelligence agencies — an unprecedented move that the former administration wanted to get in place before Trump was inaugurated.
As for Power, “think about this,” Solomon noted. “The UN ambassador, who doesn’t really have an intelligence operation, was unmasking all the time under Obama.
“And then in the final days of the administration, after two years of the intelligence community raising concerns about who should have access to this information, after the Obama administration went to the FISA court and belatedly disclosed hundreds of violations just before the  election, they make the decision that they’re going to disseminate sensitive intelligence to more people, not less people, expand the universe of people who can gain it and potentially leak it at the beginning of the Trump administration,” Solomon continued.
“That is the concern,” he noted.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10
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