Republicans eye Defense Department official in Flynn leaks case

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The head of a Department of Defense think tank, under scrutiny by Republican lawmakers for his alleged role in its counterintelligence surveillance efforts of President Trump in the 2016 campaign and transition, managed to have his job responsibilities rewritten to escape oversight by Congress.

Established in 1973, the Office of Net Assessment is an internal Pentagon think tank intended to produce research and relay its findings directly to the defense secretary and deputy defense secretary. But in August 2016, ONA, under the leadership of current Director Jim Baker, was found to have failed to generate annual top-secret assessments, as required by law.

Net assessments, which are often at least 100 pages long, include top-secret details of American military weaknesses. They provide strategic road maps to help the Pentagon ward off strategic threats, as well as give a clearer picture of different types of national security dangers to the United States.

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