A secret list of names of high-profile officials from the Obama administration has been revealed, they may have requested the unmasking of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s identity from an NSA foreign intel report.
Flynn, the former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, was subject to surveillance when in 2016 his phone conversations with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were identified. The identity of U.S. citizens in such conversations is protected if their participation is incidental.
The list of names, declassified recently by Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, was made public by GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson on Wednesday, May 13.
The list reveals the name of former Vice President Joe Biden, along with 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.
The declassified list specifically showed officials who “may have received Lt. Gen. Flynn’s identity in response to a request processed between 8 November 2016 and 31 January 2017 to unmask an identity that had been generically referred to in an NSA foreign intelligence report,” the document, obtained by Fox News, read.
The document also states: “While the principals are identified below, we cannot confirm they saw the unmasked information. This response does not include any requests outside of the specified time frame.”
The list revealed that then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power made unmasking requests seven times between Nov. 30, 2016, and Jan. 11, 2017. The list revealed that Clapper made three requests from Dec. 2, 2016, through Jan. 7, 2017; and that Brennan made two requests, one on Dec. 14 and one on Dec. 15, 2016. Comey also made a request on Dec. 15, 2016. On Jan. 5, 2017, McDonough made one request, and on Jan. 12, 2017, Biden made one request, reported Fox News.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale blasted Biden’s claim on “Good Morning America” that he knew nothing about any move to investigate Flynn.
“Joe Biden’s limp claim that he doesn’t know anything about the railroading of General Michael Flynn just got even more unbelievable. Biden is listed among the Obama administration officials who requested the unmasking of Flynn,” Parscale said in a statement. “We already knew Biden was briefed on the Flynn case before President Trump took office and now we know that he wanted Flynn unmasked.”
He added, “Americans have a right to know the depth of Biden’s involvement in the setup of General Flynn to further the Russia collusion hoax.”
Flynn was fired from his position in February 2017 after a “perjury trap” set by the FBI found him lying to the FBI regarding his conversations with Kislyak, after pleading guilty to the charges.
According to Attorney General William Barr in an interview last week, there was no legitimate reason for the FBI to conduct the interview around which Flynn’s plea deal was centered, and the DOJ moved to drop the charges against Flynn. The presiding judge over the case, Emmet G. Sullivan however, has delayed signing off on the case and is allowing “amicus curiae,” or “friend of the court” submissions.