By Duncan Smith
The Obama administration’s unmasking of Michael Flynn is apparently just the type of the iceberg, as one current and one former member of Congress who ought to know have suggested.
As we have reported, there were several familiar names on a recently-released document by acting Office of National Intelligence Director Richard Grenell showing who requested that Flynn be unmasked.
But, as Red State notes further, Flynn was not unmasked simply for a phone call he had with a top Russian diplomat.
“The unmasking list multiple requests from November to February by 16 different officials, with Obama officials obviously also looking at other calls/conversations, other than that which he had with the Russian Ambassador,” the site noted.
Now, both former House Oversight Committee Chair Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and current Republican ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) warned the public it wasn’t only Flynn who had been unmasked.
“You know, unmasking names without sufficient factual, legal predicate is a serious abuse of power,” Gowdy said, as Townhall reported.
“But the leaking of that masked name and the dissemination of that name to the media is actually a felony. And Devin tried like the dickens to get this information from the current administration, from some of the intelligence officials, and we got some of the numbers,” Gowdy continued.
“But he should’ve had all of this information, and my question for the FBI is, how is your leak investigation going? It’s been four years. It’s been four years, how is your leak investigation going?”
Nunes added that Flynn is just a “glimpse” of all the unmasking that went on.
“And I would actually say … it’s even worse than this,” he told Fox Business’s Lou Dobbs. “You’re only seeing the folks that unmasked General Flynn. The reality is there were a whole lot of other Americans on the Trump transition team that were unmasked, and those need to be made public also.”
And remember that ethics charge against Nunes for allegedly leaking classified information (he was cleared)? That was all about an attempt to “knock him off the investigation,” Gowdy said.
WATCH: @TGowdySC reacts after the list of officials, including former VP Joe Biden and former FBI director James Comey, who requested the 'unmasking' of former national security adviser Michael Flynn is released #nine2noon pic.twitter.com/zQoVcYO7tn
— America's Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) May 14, 2020
“It’s not just Michael Flynn. There was an unmasking request made the morning of the inauguration,” Gowdy told America’s Newsroom Thursday morning. “President Trump’s family members’ names were unmasked.”
Gowdy also said that it could be hard to tell who was actually making the unmasking requests because, as former UN Amb. Samantha Power has testified, scores were made in her name.
“So, that’s her testimony, and she was pretty emphatic in it,” Gowdy added. “The intelligence community has assigned this number of requests to her. Her perspective, her testimony is, they may be under my name, but I did not make those requests.”
Meanwhile, former ‘national security’ officials in the Obama administration like Ben Rhodes not only admit to “routine” unmasking of Americans, but seem to be suggesting that there’s no problem with it.
The unconfirmed, acting DNI using his position to criminalize routine intelligence work to help re-elect the president and obscure Russian intervention in our democracy would normally be the scandal here…
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) May 13, 2020
So you're saying the Obama administration "routinely" spied on private American citizens, unmasked their names, and illegally leaked them to reporters?
Good to know. https://t.co/yY2JVo0DPf
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) May 13, 2020