Rand Paul Wants to Know if Intelligence Community Spied On Him

Makes public details of request to President Trump

Sen. Rand Paul wants to know if he was under surveillance. (George LeVines/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Sen. Rand Paul wants to know if he was under surveillance. (George LeVines/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:28pm

Sen. Rand Paul is renewing a request to know if he was subject to surveillance by the intelligence community during the Obama administration.

“This inquiry goes beyond just myself and my office,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement Friday. “The American people need to know if their elected representatives in the Legislative branch have been swept up in Executive branch surveillance.”

In a tweet sent Friday, Paul asked if warrantless wiretaps were obtained for any presidential campaigns, including his own.

The Kentucky Republican actually sent a letter in April to President Donald Trump saying that he had an anonymous source alleging that the senator and other members of Congress were unmasked or queried during the Obama administration.

Paul renewed that request Friday, circulating the letter publicly.

“In light of the revelations that the names of persons associated with the Trump campaign were unmasked, I believe the allegations that myself and other elected members of the legislative branch may have also been unmasked or caught in intelligence gathering warrants investigation,” Paul wrote in the original April 10 letter to Trump.

The move to go public follows a report from the website Circa requesting Trump use his presidential authority to declassify information on surveillance of Americans under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The legal authorities for such searches and queries under FISA are due for reauthorization, as the current authority is set to lapse at the end of 2017.

When not answering questions about the 2016 presidential election, FBI Director James B. Comey spent much of an appearance Wednesday at the Senate Judiciary Committee touting the importance of the powers and pushing for renewal.

Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa said that his panel will not take up reauthorization of Section 702 surveillance program before at least July, and it would likely not occur until after the August recess.

Ryan Lucas contributed to this report.