Top 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 today, FOX NEWSreports.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.
“I declassified the enclosed document, which I am providing to you for your situational awareness,” Grenell wrote to the GOP senators in sending along the list.
Grenell’s note was addressed to Sens. Grassley, R-Iowa, and Johnson, R-Wis., who had penned a letter to him and Attorney General Bill Barr regarding the declassification of files related to the unmasking process earlier in the day.
As Fox News previously reported, Grenell already made the decision to declassify information about Obama administration officials who were involved in the “unmasking” of Flynn — whose calls with the former Russian ambassador during the presidential transition were picked up in surveillance and later leaked. His case has returned to the national spotlight after the DOJ moved to dismiss charges against him of lying to the FBI about those conversations, despite a guilty plea that he later sought to withdraw.
Trump allies claim Flynn was wrongly targeted, and have suggested high-level involvement in an effort to bring him down. Democrats, however, claim the DOJ’s decision to abandon the case shows how it has become politicized.