Judge Napolitano: Unmasking Americans for reasons other than National Security is ‘called espionage’

Obama’s former national security adviser Susan Rice may have committed espionage when she unmasked President Trump’s transition team members.

That’s what Judge Andrew Napolitano said on “Fox and Friends.”

Susan Rice

Susan Rice, unmasked (Stanford yearbook).

Napolitano said Rice was entitled to ask for the names of Trump’s team as part of her job, but revealing their identities in order to undermine Trump is “espionage.”

As the President’s National Security Adviser, she has the highest level of national security clearance. Can she reveal the identity of an American for a purpose other than national security? Absolutely not.

Can she ask for [the names of] more Americans involved and then unmask them and say to her boss, ‘By the way, guess what Trump and Manafort were talking about last night?’ That’s called espionage. That’s called the failure to safeguard top-secret information.

Under U.S. federal law, espionage is a felony punishable by death (that’s how seriously the United States views random spying on private citizens).

Basically, if Susan Rice had abused her position as national security adviser to unmask Trump aides as part of an effort to sabotage the Trump administration, she committed a crime.

“If she needs to know to whom the ambassador was speaking in order to understand the conversation, she can do that,” Napolitano said. “But can she reveal the identity of the American for a purpose other than national security? Absolutely not.”

Judge Nap said the government takes the privacy of U.S. citizens very seriously, and said Hillary Clinton probably committed a felony with her reckless use of an unsecured email server during her years as Secretary of State.

The identity of Americans incidentally caught up in otherwise lawful surveillance is protected by top-secret protection — the highest level of classification that we have. This is the same crime that Hillary Clinton probably committed by her failure to safeguard top-secret [information] when she was secretary of state.

Napolitano said the FBI must challenge Rice and figure out why she needed the information about Trump aides and what she did with it. Judge Nap said former president Obama will also have a lot to answer for if and when he’s implicated.

“She only had one boss,” Napolitano said. “She only reported to one person. We all know who that was. Think about what happened: The president of the United States and his national security adviser were obtaining transcripts of the president-elect and his potential national security adviser and other transcripts.”

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Napolitano is disgusted by mainstream media like CNN, which refuses to cover the Susan Rice scandal because it contradicts their anti-Trump narrative.

“Could you imagine if George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice had done this to president-elect Obama?” Napolitano asked. “The political earthquake would still be palpable.”

Samantha Chang

Samantha Chang

Samantha Chang is a politics/lifestyle writer and a financial editor at Investopedia. She is a law school graduate and an alum of the University of Pennsylvania. You can find her on Twitter at @Samantha_Chang.
Samantha Chang

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