List of Flynn unmaskers revealed

Fox NewsTop Obama administration officials purportedly requested to "unmask" the identity of former national security adviser Michael Flynn during the presidential transition period, according to a list of names from that controversial process made public on Wednesday.

The list was declassified in recent days by Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell and then sent to GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson, who made the documents public. The roster features top-ranking figures including then-Vice President Joe Biden -- a detail already being raised by the Trump campaign in the bare-knuckle 2020 presidential race where Biden is now the Democrats' presumptive nominee.

The list also includes then-FBI Director James Comey, then-CIA Director John Brennan, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Obama's then-chief of staff Denis McDonough.

It's not necessarily improper to unmask someone, constitutional issues about the collection itself aside, if appropriate procedures are followed for an appropriate purpose. It is exceedingly improper (and, yes, illegal) to leak the unmasking as was done to Flynn. Logically, what should have happened in this case would be simple:

1) Obama kicks out Russian diplomats, creating an incident
2) Flynn, as incoming National Security Advisor, talks to the Russians and requests they do not escalate.
3) For whatever reason the conversation with the Russian ambassador gets intercepted and people ask who is this guy asking them not to escalate?
4) Flynn is unmasked to those individuals and they say "Oh, he's the incoming National Security Advisor. That makes sense." The issue gets dropped.

Instead, someone leaked the information to the press to create a scandal, which the FBI used to conduct an ambush interview and get Flynn fired.

So the question is: who leaked the call? That leak was illegal -- and likely it was one of the people on the unmasking list who did it.

Another part of the big news: Obama's chief of staff unmasked Flynn's name immediately before the January 5th meeting. Nunes says many more people on the Trump transition team than Flynn were unmasked.

This entry was published Thu May 14 12:11:26 CDT 2020 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2020-05-14 10:46:34.0. [Tweet]

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