Was Samantha Power illegally spying for Obama?

With little need for intelligence reports to do her job, former Obama United Nations ambassador Samantha Power had an abnormally ravenous appetite for spying, especially when it came to Americans.

According to Fox News:

Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was 'unmasking' at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016 – and even sought information in the days leading up to President Trump’s inauguration, multiple sources close to the matter told Fox News. 

Two sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, said the requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting, known as unmasking, exceeded 260 last year. One source indicated this occurred in the final days of the Obama White House.

It's baffling stuff, because it was so unprecedented.  To request the unmasking of an American  is supposed to be done only in exceptional circumstances, given the potential for Stasi-like abuse of power.  Power made it her daily preoccupation even as she was supposed to be doing her United Nations job.

That raises questions of what it was for.  Apparently, it was the Trump campaign she was spying on.  Yet she never came off as a typical slimy political operative such as was commonly seen hanging around the Obama administration.  Sure, she was a troglodyte lefty, but she never came off as a campaign expert.

In fact, her campaign blundering, as when she declared Hillary Clinton "a monster," is what got her temporarily sidelined from the Obama campaign until she was brought back as the U.N. ambassador to Hillary Clinton's secretary of state.  So in addition to being no smooth operator on campaigns, she also never had much love for Clinton.

With no need for intelligence for her job, and no campaign prowess, why would she be spying on the Trump campaign, presumably, on behalf of Hillary Clinton, whom she hated?

One answer may be that she was spying on Americans on behalf of Obama.  She did the errands for the White House, figuring no one would look too hard at the U.N. envoy as a suspect, and in so doing, she protected Obama from any suspicion of wrongdoing.

Would Obama really be that venal to want to know the names of every Trump official talking to Russians, even after Trump was elected?  Well, somebody did.  Somebody wanted to derail the Trump presidency so as to preserve the Obama legacy.  We saw this with the leaking of intelligence that led to the resignation of Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.  But more to the point, it was very much Obama's style to micromanage.  He ordered assorted spyings on reporters, such as those in the Associated Press and New York Times.  He also spied on Sharyl Attkisson, as noted in Thomas Lifson's piece here.  And on the military front, he was notorious as a micromanager of military maneuvers, blasted as such by two former defense secretaries.

If it plays out this way, it will turn out that the great abuses of political power that happened during the Obama administration weren't just the actions of a few underlings in Cincinnati, as Obama officials have tried to throw blame to in the past.  They went straight to the top.

When is Obama going to find himself in the congressional hearings dock? 

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