(Chris Parker, Headline USA) An investigation conducted by the US Attorney General’s office found that Lt. General Michael Flynn’s name was illegally unmasked in documents pertaining to calls that he made to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak shortly after former President Barack Obama enacted sanctions.
Federal law forbids unmasking without specific requests. Initially, investigators claimed that no evidence for the illegal unmasking of Flynn’s name was found, reported American Greatness. This led the Obama administration to continue its attacks in collaboration with Robert Mueller, the now disgraced former FBI director.
It was also discovered that the practice was normal for the Obama administration. John Bash, an attorney appointed by Attorney General William Barr to investigate the unmasking, concluded that “the practice of routinely unmasking [names] in anticipation of a briefing was ubiquitous at the time.”
Bash went on to say, “I am troubled by how easy it is for political appointees of the incumbent administration to obtain nonpublic information about individuals associated with a presidential campaign or a transition team.
“There exists a significant potential for misuse of such information — misuse that could be difficult to detect.”
The investigation also revealed the Obama administration’s release of classified information to media outlets in an attempt to continue smearing Flynn’s reputation. No charges have been filed over that leak.
The recipients of that document listed dozens of Obama administration officials, including then-Vice President Joe Biden.
It was ultimately discovered that while Flynn did have several phone calls with Kislyak, there were no discussions of the recent sanctions despite the Washington Post’s rabid claim that “National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials.”
Flynn has since filed a $50 million malicious prosecution lawsuit against the FBI and Justice Department. He insists that the tirade against him was politically motivated despite Bash’s repeated claims that it was not. It implicates, among others, top Obama officials.
It became increasingly apparent that the charges were politically motivated after Trump deliberately ignored Obama’s warning not to hire Flynn. Several Democrats also had a close working relationship with Kislyak, so it would have been relatively easy for them to use him as bait.
According to Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the findings have greater implications.
If the Bash findings are true, then the intelligence agencies systematically undermined the entire rationale of unmasking procedures, which is to protect the civil liberties and privacy of Americans who are not the targets of an investigation.
Nunes also noted that “There is no justification for the exorbitant number of times Michael Flynn’s name was unmasked, briefed to senior Obama officials, and even spread outside the FBI in unmasked form. The Flynn leak was a major crime, yet even after this investigation, no one was held accountable.”
The actual source of the leak remains unknown over three years later. However, the repercussions of their illegal behavior can still be felt. Flynn’s career was ruined and the Trump administration was forced to waste time and resources defending against baseless attacks right from the start.