A newly-uncovered 52-page document from the Justice Department reveals previously unknown details about the findings of a 2020 investigation into whether certain individuals, including General Michael Flynn, were improperly “unmasked” by the Obama administration.
The document, which was obtained by BuzzFeed in a Freedom of Information Act request, shows Flynn was not improperly unmasked – a term used in the intelligence community that refers to the public naming of a previously unidentified subject in an investigation for political or other purposes – by the Obama administration.
The document had been classified as top secret and its details had not been previously released after the investigation’s overall finding was made public.
Flynn served a short stint as former president Donald Trump’s national security advisor before resigning in 2017 amid allegations he had lied to the FBI about phone conversations he had participated in with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Republican members of Congress as well as the former president himself fed into the lie that Flynn and others had been targeted by the Obama administration and others, prompting an investigation into un-masking by former Attorney General Bill Barr.
The report by then-US Attorney John Bash said he had found “no unmasking requests made before Election Day [or during the period between Election Day 2016 and Trump’s inauguration] that sought the identity of an apparent associate of the Trump campaign.”
The details of the report put a definitive end to the conspiracy theory touted by some members of the GOP over the last several years. “I … examined whether any senior officials had obtained General Flynn’s identity in connection with those communications through an unmasking request made during the transition period,” Bash wrote. “The answer is no,” Bash wrote.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: PBS.ORG