There has been comparatively little coverage of an allegation voiced by Sen. Rand Paul that another Senator confided in him that he was also subjected to surveillance under the Obama Administration. Paul previously voiced his belief that he may have been the subject of surveillance and asked the intelligence committee for confirmation of any such evidence. The surveillance of members of the Senate would raise extremely serious questions on the abuse of surveillance authority and threat to the independence of Congress. If this is untrue, I would have expected a reassuring denial to be issued. Even if the Senators were not the target of surveillance, it would be highly troubling if the government monitored conversations with members of Congress.
Paul stated: “I know one other senator who’s already confided to me that he was surveilled by the Obama administration, including his phone calls.” Paul has said that he was told that he was subjected to the same type of surveillance, though it is not clear what sources Paul is referencing.
Paul warned “It’s about your own government spying on the opposition party, that would be enormous if true. I don’t know the truth. We’ve asked the intel committees, House and Senate, and I’ve also asked the White House, because there is this whole discussion of Susan Rice unmasking people.”
The last comment suggests that senators were intercepted in surveillance of third parties but then unmasked by the Administration. Congress, as an equal branch, deserves to know the circumstances of such interceptions and any specific unmarking requests involving members.