Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell is preparing to disclose the names of Obama administration officials who “unmasked” Michael Flynn after his calls with a former Russian ambassador were picked up in surveillance and later leaked, according to a source that spoke to Fox News.
The move follows the release of documents last week in the Flynn case confirming the former Trump national security adviser’s claim that he was framed by the FBI. The Justice Department immediately followed up with a motion to drop the case
A second Fox News source said Grenell is declassifying information in stages, with the unmasking being one part of the process.
Asked if former President Obama’s name is on the list of officials involved in unmasking Flynn, the source declined to answer but said the list would make waves.
The identities of U.S. citizens who incidentally participate in any communications with foreigners monitored by the intelligence community are protected. But, according to the law, officials can reveal the identity of an American citizen if it’s necessary to “understand foreign intelligence information or assess its importance,” or if the intelligence indicates the citizen may be “an agent of a foreign power.”
It is now up to Attorney General William Barr to release the names of the officials involved in the unmasking.
Obama administration officials have admitted they unmasked some Americans in intelligence reports. But they insist they had legitimate reasons.
Last week, Grenell delivered newly declassified documents to the Justice Department after the charges against Flynn were dropped.
The DOJ decision to drop its case against Flynn was seen by Trump supporters as an admission that the entire Russia collusion investigation was inappropriate.
A memo unsealed in the Flynn case captured FBI agents asking: “What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”
The DOJ admitted that Flynn had no inappropriate contacts with Russians.
Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, believes Obama was ultimately responsible for prosecuting Flynn.
DailyMail.com reported the legal issues remain clouded by politics. A group of former DOJ officials has signed a petition demanding Barr resign over the decision to drop the charges.
Claiming the decision is unprecedented, the former officials charge Barr is assaulting “the rule of law.”
U.S. Attorney John Durham is leading a criminal investigation of the origins of the Obama administration probe of the Trump campaign. Among the officials under scrutiny, according to sources, is former CIA Director John Brennan, who has accused Trump of treason.