On Monday, Bloomberg dropped an explosive allegation to add to the mounting evidence that Trump associates were victims of wrongful surveillance: National security adviser Susan Rice sought the identities of U.S. citizens whose names were masked in intel reports related to the Trump transition. 

The “smoking gun,” as Sen. Rand Paul called it, raises the question of how far up the chain of command the Trump surveillance went.

If Rice ordered the so-called “unmasking” of U.S. citizens’ names, did President Obama know about it? Was the unmasking par-for-the-course-surveillance or was it an aberration — and perhaps unlawful?

The answer to the former question will come out in time. Answering the latter mandates a detailed look at the Constitution, statute and relevant regulations.

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