Despite Wednesday's blockbuster news about the dozens of Obama-administration officials who "unmasked" then-incoming Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn, there remains a gaping hole in the story: Where is the record showing who unmasked Flynn in connection with his fateful conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak?
There isn't one.
Emmet G. Sullivan, the judge in the case of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, is refusing to let William Barr's Justice Department drop the charge. He's even thinking of adding more, appointing a retired judge to ask "whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury.
Let's be clear: A crime was committed in the Michael Flynn case. But that crime was committed not by the retired general, but by someone who leaked the classified details of his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The Justice Department was correct to drop charges against Flynn for lying to the FBI about his communications with Kislyak. The case was reviewed by Jeff Jensen, the US attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri with two decades of experience as a prosecutor and FBI special agent, and the resulting 108-page motion to dismiss is a searing indictment of FBI misconduct.
President Obama was aware of the details of then-incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn's intercepted December 2016 phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, apparently surprising then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, according to documents released Thursday as exhibits to the government's motion to dismiss the Flynn case.
Obama's unexpectedly intimate knowledge of the details of Flynn's calls, which the FBI acknowledged at the time were not criminal or even improper, raised eyebrows because of his own history with Flynn -- and because top FBI officials secretly discussed whether their goal was to "get [Flynn] fired" when they interviewed him in the White House on January 24, 2017.
Just how did the Department of Justice issue such a strong reversal in the prosecution of Michael Flynn? CBS News reporter Catherine Herridge sat down with Attorney General William Barr as Democrats [nominally] on Capitol Hill demanded his resignation for dropping the charges. In an interview that will air more fully tonight, Barr declares that the FBI concocted a perjury trap to extend an illegitimate counterintelligence operation, and that the orders to do so came from the very top of the FBI.