Republican-led House committee asked for 'unmasked' Russian Federation intelligence

Four of the seven subpoenas are for "testimony, personal documents and business records" from former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney, as well as their respective businesses. Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that in 2016 alone, almost 2,000 names of USA citizens were unmasked.

Schiff told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell that the subpoenas went out without consultation with the minority.

And private worries that he refused to step away from signing off on subpoenas boiled over in public Wednesday.

The interviews would have included former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page and longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone - both of whom have said they are eager to testify - along with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Politico reported.

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017...case against him & now wants to clear his name by showing "the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan..." At a fundraiser in California last weekend, Nunes accused Democrats of wanting to "destroy" the Russian Federation investigation because they are trying to advance the narrative that collusion between Trump and Vladmir Putin is the reason why Hillary Clinton lost.

It was less than two months ago that Representative Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, temporarily recused himself from leading the panel's Russian Federation investigation amid allegations that he disclosed classified information in what his Democratic critics called an attempt to substantiate President Trump's false claim that his predecessor ordered wiretaps on Trump Tower.

Americans' names picked up in foreign communications intercepts must be concealed unless senior officials request them to be disclosed for intelligence or law enforcement purposes.

Behind the scenes at the Capitol, a struggle played out between lawmakers on the House Russia investigation in the leadup to the issuing of the first subpoenas, CNN reported last week.

Those subpoenas were reportedly issued exclusively by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the committee chairman, with no input from Democrats. The most intriguing detail of the subpoenas is the demand for any information related to requests for unmasking by Samantha Power, President Obama's ambassador to the United Nations.

Pelosi says Rep. Devin Nunes should not be issuing subpoenas because he stepped aside from the investigation after being criticized for being too close to the White House.

Committee aides complained he had acted unilaterally, and the top Democrat on the panel, Representative Adam Schiff, said Nunes' actions amounted to a breach of his recusal decision.

"There is no substance to this, so the only way to look at it is as an attempt to distract the headlines and the public from Comey's public testimony and Mueller's investigation, both of which are serious", said one of the US officials familiar with the information Nunes subpoenaed.

On Wednesday (Thursday NZT), Clinton said she suspected Trump's campaign guided Russian efforts. "I only learned about this late the night before, and that's a problem", Schiff said.

Four of the subpoenas are related to the Russian Federation investigation. But Democrats were only informed about other subpoenas - those related to unmasking - at the last minute. The Russian government was unable to offer a similar response, which for Putin and his cabinet raises a question of whether the USA has no spies, or whether the Russians are just bad at finding them.

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