The report that former President Barack Obama's national security adviser Susan Rice was involved in the "unmasking" of Trump transition and campaign officials caught up in surveillance gives new credence to the possibility that Obama administration officials were involved in some kind of surveillance of Trump's advisers and, possibly, then-candidate and President-elect Trump himself.
A Bloomberg report raises a host of new questions and points the investigation in a number of new potential directions.
1. Who were the unmasked members of the Trump team, and to whom were they talking?
To this point, only ex-Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn's conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak has been identified. Additionally, when House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes announced that he had seen intelligence materials related to the unmasking of Trump associates, he said the materials were not related to Russia, but it's unclear if that means the conversations completely excluded agents of the Russian government.
2. Could any of this have been coordinated with the Clinton campaign?
The Clinton campaign would have had a strong interest in knowing whether Trump officials were speaking with the Russians. The Blomberg story says that some of the intelligence collected included "occasions" that "connect to" the campaign.
3. Will Rice be called to testify?
Given the seriousness of the report, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which she wouldn't. However, the Senate Intelligence Committee seems focused on Russian meddling in a larger sense, and the House committee has become stuck in politics, so the possibility that she might not testify to either committee can't be totally dismissed.
4. Who else was involved other than Rice?
Did Rice perform these actions on her own? Were other officials at least aware of them? Was Obama himself aware of what she was doing?
5. Why did Rice want these names unmasked?
For what purpose did she need to know the identities of Americans swept up in surveillance of foreigners?
6. Were the Americans the actual targets?
If Rice was so interested in unmasking the names of the Trump officials "caught up" in the surveillance, could it be that the Trump aides were, in fact, the targets of the surveillance, and were not simply surveilled "incidentally."