I know you get a lot of email, which means I only have a few seconds to grab your interest. Here I go…
- Reminder: ECW is the 30-year-old White House aide — the NSC’s senior director of intelligence who started his own ‘review’ of surveillance intercepts of the Trump transition, took his findings to the White House Counsel’s office only to get told to stop. [Source: AP]
- Although reports say that Michael Ellis and a third person gave the unmasked intel to Nunes, it seems obvious that ECW gathered this information in his ‘review’ [Source: NYT]
- ECW is a Flynn protege [Source: NYT, above]
- McMaster wanted ECW out, but Bannon and Kushner intervened [Source: NYT, above] (Isn’t that intervention unusual? Why those two? Where is the Chief of Staff in all this?)
- ECW has no face. (No, seriously. You can’t find a picture of him online, which doesn’t mean anything, but is fun/weird)
- His wife works for a D.C. public relations firm. Her client is… Russia. [Source: a reputable blog, but I think your staff should try to confirm.]
Now the heavy stuff that nobody seems to be talking about (save perhaps Nancy LeTourneau at the Washington Monthly this morning)
- In order to unmask a document, one needs the approval of the underlying intel agency that masked the document in the first place. Furthermore, once unmasked, you cannot share that unmasked information with another person unless it relates and is necessary to the purposes of your briefing, etc. And finally, if you are going to share that information outside of your branch of government (say, with a congressional committee) you need to go BACK to then intel agency for further approval. (I heard this many times last night and I believe Susan Rice said this as well. Transcripts aren’t available yet, but someone can find this out).
- This begs the question: regardless of why ECW got the unmasked information (i.e., on whose authority, if anybody), he would have to get permission from the underlying intel agency to share it. Question: Did ECW follow intel protocol with the unmasked information that he obtained? Did anyone in the White House? (I suspect not)
- Regardless of whether he got permission to share, ECW really really appears to be a leaker — or a link in within a “leak chain” — is he not? He cannot be a whistleblower — for that, he would have to expose wrongdoing. But even conservative news outlets acknowledge that Rice’s unmasking was perfectly legal. So my questions are: Why hasn’t he been brought in for questioning? Why does he still have (as far as we know) security clearance?
Thanks for your time. I enjoy your show (obviously), but I won’t fanboy here.