The House Intelligence Committee is expecting a potential “smoking gun” showing the Obama administration spied on the transition team of President Donald Trump and possibly Trump himself, Fox News reported.
The report comes two days after committee Chairman Devin Nunes revealed that he obtained information that surveillance was being used on Trump’s team. Fox reported that multiple Capitol Hill sources delivered that information to him.
The sources told Fox’s James Rosen, who himself was monitored by the Obama Department of Justice in 2013, that the information leaves no doubt the Obama administration was spying on Trump during legitimate surveillance on foreign targets. Key American citizens were “unmasked” and their names appeared in the intelligence.
Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, who made a name for himself for breaking the Watergate scandal, said in a Fox News interview that there are around 20 people in the 16-agency strong intelligence community who can order the unmasking, or “minimization,” of individuals.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is expected to provide the documents to the committee on Friday—with more intelligence than Nunes received and described, Fox reported. However, it will take at least several days to assess the materials, the report added.
“What I’ve read bothers me,” Nunes told reporters on Wednesday, “and I think it should bother the president himself, and his team because I think some of it seems to be inappropriate.”
“What I’ve read seems to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but I don’t know that it’s right and I don’t know if the American people would be comfortable with what I’ve read,” said Nunes, a Republican from California.
He added that while the NSA agreed to provide more documents, the FBI has not yet agreed to his request.
“This is information that was brought to me that I thought the president needed to know about incidental collection, where the president himself and others in the Trump transition team were clearly put into intelligence reports that ended up at this White House and across a whole bunch of other agencies,” Nunes said after he met with Trump on Wednesday.
But after the disclosure, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, pilloried Nunes’ claims, saying he didn’t share the information with him or other members of the committee.
“The chairman will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House, because he cannot do both,” Schiff said at a news conference Wednesday, Politico reported.