Tags: lindsey graham | probes | intelligence | officials | unmasking | answers

Lindsey Graham Probes Intel Officials for Unmasking Answers

C-SPAN

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Jun 2017 02:55 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tried to pry information from members of the intelligence community Tuesday regarding allegations that some of his conversations with foreign officials were recorded and his name was revealed to people inside the government.

Graham and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing centered on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Graham spent much of his time probing for information on whether his status as a senator entitled him to know whether his name came up in any intelligence reports because of work-related contacts with foreigners.

"Am I entitled as a United States senator to know if my conversations with a foreign person oversees was collected and if somebody made a request to unmask me?" Graham asked.

Bradley Booker, who serves as the acting general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, provided this answer:

"If, as a member of Congress, there's an intelligence report that reports on activities that include you and a foreign minister, by default your identity is going to be masked.

"If there was a request to unmask a congressional identity, there is a process known as the Gates Procedures that were established in the 1980s by former DCI Robert Gates. That requires the agency to seek approval from the DNI before that unmasking."

Graham has alleged that the Obama administration unmasked his name after a conversation he had with a foreign official was picked up by U.S. intelligence. He said Tuesday he's concerned that conversations of his that are recorded could be used against him politically down the road.

"Am I entitled to know if that happened to me?" Graham asked.

"When there is a Gates Request, [congressional leadership] is notified," Booker replied.

Graham kept the focus on his personal question by repeatedly asking whether his request to find out whether or not his conversations were monitored would be granted to him personally, not just congressional leadership.

The intelligence officials in attendance told him the request is being processed, and they said there is no legal reason why he should not have the answer he is seeking.

Graham also tried to solve the puzzle surrounding former national security adviser Michael Flynn, whose name was unmasked after his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last December were recorded by U.S. intelligence.

Because Kislyak is a U.S. ambassador living in the U.S., a FISA court warrant would have been required to eavesdrop on his phone conversations, DOJ official Stuart J. Evans told Graham.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tried to pry information from members of the intelligence community Tuesday regarding allegations that some of his conversations with foreign officials were recorded and his name was revealed to people inside the government.
lindsey graham, probes, intelligence, officials, unmasking, answers
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2017-55-27
Tuesday, 27 Jun 2017 02:55 PM
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