The House Intelligence Committee, headed by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, asked spy agencies last year to "unmask" the names of U.S. residents or organizations contained in intelligence surrounding Russian meddling in the election, according to news reports Friday.
According to U.S. intelligence agencies, the committee "requested five to six unmaskings of U.S. organizations or individuals related to Trump or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton between June 2016 and January 2017," The Washington Post reports.
The dispatch was based in "officials familiar with the matter," noting that "the committee’s requests focused on the identities of U.S. organizations that had been hacked by the Russians in 2016."
However, "officials declined to say how many of the requests came from Democrats vs. Republicans," the Post reports.
A spokesman for Republicans on the Intelligence Committee declined to comment on whether the panel made any unmasking requests.
"It is standard operating procedure for the House Intelligence Committee to forward all committee members' questions from both parties to the appropriate agencies, whether or not they are answered," the spokesman told the Post.
"I refer you to committee Democrats for further questions on this subject."
In addition, some officials told the Post that committee members might not have realized spy agencies would count their requests as unmaskings.
"These officials said lawmakers submitted questions that intelligence officers could answer only by revealing the identities of U.S. individuals," according to the report.
This week, Nunes subpoenaed the three intelligence agencies – CIA, FBI and NSA – seeking unmasking requests sought by three former Obama administration officials: National Security Adviser Susan Rice, CIA Director John Brennan and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.
Committee Democrats have accused Nunes of trying to distract from the Russia investigation, citing him recusing himself from the probe in April amid questions about his disclosure of classified information.
Nunes has denied wrongdoing.
Rice and Brennan declined to comment, the Post reports, while Power did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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