List of officials who sought to 'unmask' Flynn released

Biden, Comey, Intel chiefs Brennand and Clapper, and Obama chief of staff included

SKY News
May 13, 2020 - 3:26 pm
DNI unmasking

FOX News

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NEW YORK (FOX News/ by Brooke Singman, David Spunt) -- Top Obama administration officials purportedly requested to "unmask" the identity of Michael Flynn during the presidential transition period, according to a list of names from that controversial process made public on Wednesday.

Full article, documents and list of names here

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. It features top figures including then-Vice President Joe Biden, then-FBI Director James Comey and intelligence chiefs John Brennan and James Clapper. It also included 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 GOP senators in sending along the list.

Grenell’s letter 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 made the decision to declassify information about Obama administration officials who were involved in the “unmasking” of former national security adviser Flynn — whose calls with the former Russian ambassador during the presidential transition were picked up in surveillance and later leaked.

Grenell appeared to have delivered those files to the DOJ last week. The declassified list showed recipients 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.

“Each individual was an authorized recipient of the original report and the unmasking was approved through NSA’s standard process, which includes a review of the justification for the request,” the document said. “Only certain personnel are authorized to submit unmasking requests into the NSA system. In this case, 16 authorized individuals requested unmasking for [REDACTED] different NSA intelligence reports for select identified principals.” The document added: “While the principals are identified below, we cannot confirm hey 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; 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, then-Vice President Biden made one request.

The document comes just a day after Biden told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” that he knew “nothing about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn,” and called the topic a “diversion” from the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden was pressed again, and clarified: “I thought you asked me whether or not I had anything to do with him being prosecuted. I’m sorry. ... I was aware that there was—that they asked for an investigation, but that’s all I know about it, and I don’t think anything else.”

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Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeSingman.

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