Politics

13 People Monitored By State Dept Officials in Ukraine: Judicial Watch

State Department records made public on Sept. 1 reveal that in the spring of 2019, U.S. diplomats at the embassy in Kyiv monitored the social media accounts of 13 people, including journalists and a member of President Donald Trumps family, for posts about Ukraine without their knowledge.

The records (pdf), obtained by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, show that the officials targeted the Twitter accounts of Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, Fox Newss Lou Dobbs, the presidents personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, military and intelligence analyst Sebastian Gorka, investigative journalist John Solomon, One America Newss Jack Posobiec, The Daily Wires Ryan Saavedra, Fox News contributor Sara A. Carter, the presidents eldest son Donald Trump Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Russia under the Obama administration Michael McFaul, and American activist Pamela Gellar.

Ukraines top prosecutor had just opened an investigation at the time into whether the countrys law enforcement illegally leaked information in order to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of Hillary Clinton.

The 13 accounts were monitored using CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned social media analytics company, for terms including; Yovanovitch [former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch], Ukraine Ambassador, Ukrainian Ambassador, Ukraine Soros, Clinton campaign, and Biden-Burisma, the documents show.

Read MoreTop Prosecutor Probing Ukrainian Plot to Boost Clinton in 2016 Election

According to internal emails made public by the watchdog group, Yovanovitch and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent were aware of the monitoring efforts. Yovanovitch was dismissed from her diplomatic post in May 2017 by Trump.

Former U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch Testifies At Impeachment Hearing
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is sworn in prior to providing testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 15, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The records, which were obtained in a January 2020 FOIA lawsuit, show that a contractor at the U.S. Department of State also warned his colleagues that they could be breaching privacy laws with their monitoring of the accounts of the 13 Americans.

“Going to chime in here—so regarding the influencers, there are some legal implications of making a list of Facebook influencers of Twitter influencers since they are technically private citizens (even though theyre publicly on the internet) and we cannot compile them into a list and monitor what they are saying using a third-party application without their knowledge,” the contractor wrote in an email in May 2019. “To see what theRead More From Source

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