[This commentary was submitted by Norm Sauer who is on the editorial board of The Union and often contributes his views to these pages. The same piece appeared in the 26apr17 edition of the newspaper's op-ed section. It appears below as received. gjr]
In my column last month (http://www.theunion.com/opinion/norm-sauer-the-progressive-swamp-of-washington-d-c/), I predicted the surveillance of Trump and his team by the Obama administration may be a story bigger than Watergate.
To date an enormous amount of media attention and investigations about direct Russian collusion with Trump have found no evidence. However, little attention has been given to improper unmasking of surveillance and leaking, and yet this has far more credibility based on contradictory statements by Susan Rice, the reported data on unmasking, and Obama’s expansion of access to intercepts.
On March 22, House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) announced that he had learned that members of President Donald Trump’s transition team had been under surveillance by the Obama administration, that individual names had been “unmasked” by the intelligence community, and that those names had been leaked to the media. Nunes said that while there was no direct “wiretap” by President Barack Obama of Trump Tower, there was indeed surveillance — perhaps collected incidentally — of people close to Trump, possibly including Trump himself.