ACLJ Files Federal Lawsuit Against NSA – Whatever it Takes to Get to the Bottom of the Dangerous Susan Rice “Unmasking” Scandal


Jordan Sekulow

July 18, 2017

3 min read




Today, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) just filed its second lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA). 

We made lawful demands for government records that will shed light on the Susan Rice “unmasking” scandal that rocked the intelligence community. The NSA failed to comply with the law. So, today, we took the NSA to federal court. 

Here’s what Fox News reported back in April:

Susan Rice, former national security adviser under then-President Barack Obama, requested to unmask the names of Trump transition officials caught up in surveillance.  The unmasked names, of people associated with Donald Trump, were then sent to all those at the National Security Council, some at the Defense Department, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Director John Brennan – essentially, the officials at the top, including former Rice deputy Ben Rhodes.

The only way we even know about the Obama Administration‘s apparent politically motivated unmasking is because this raw intelligence information - classified national security secrets - was illegally leaked to the media.

The ACLJ went to work in our effort bring these secret and unlawful actions to the forefront. Our Government Accountability Project prepared a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests designed to get to the bottom of this disturbing revelation.

Our FOIA Request sought:

records pertaining to any and all requests former National Security Advisor Susan Rice made to National Security Agency (“NSA”) officials or personnel regarding the “unmasking” of the names and/or any other personal identifying information of then candidate and/or President-elect Donald J. Trump, his family, staff, transition team members, and/or advisors who were incidentally caught up in U.S. electronic surveillance.

The NSA acknowledged our FOIA request and even granted “expedited processing” – which means the NSA acknowledged the time-sensitive urgency behind our requests.  But, even though expedited processing means the NSA is bound to process the request faster than other requests, we have heard nothing from them since.

So, today, we filed a critical lawsuit and we will force the NSA to answer to a federal court for its blatant disregard for the law.  Among other things, we asked the Court for “[a]n Order enjoining Defendant from continuing to withhold any and all non-exempt records responsive to Plaintiff’s FOIA request.”

This is not our first time we‘ve taken the NSA to federal court. We filed a lawsuit earlier this year to force the NSA to produce government records that could expose the people and purposes behind the Obama Administration’s eleventh hour rule change that dramatically expanded access to raw signal intelligence – signed by the Obama Administration officials on their way out the door. It was these changes that have lead to an unprecedented avalanche  of dangerous national security leaks.

Both of these lawsuits are part of our ongoing effort to aggressively combat the dangerous national security leaks that have been plaguing the federal government. The deep state shadow government bureaucracy must not be allowed to endanger the national security of the American people as it carries out a vicious vendetta against the current Administration. We will not stop fighting until we defeat and expose the shadow government leaks.

You can be part of our effort. We need your voice. Sign our petition today.