Things aren’t going so well for Obama and his administration anymore as recent information and documents have been released highlighting their involvement in the case against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Flynn was the national security advisor during the Presidential transition period from Obama to Trump. Phone calls Michael Flynn had with former Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, were received from surveillance and then leaked. In December of 2017, Robert Mueller and Flynn agreed to a plea bargain that he plead guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” about his conversations with the ambassador.
Release of Documents
Acting director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, declassified the list of names of people involved with the investiagation against Michael Flynn. He sent the list to GOP Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson who made the documents public. Some names included on the list are Joe Biden, James Comey, Denis McDonough, John Brennan, and James Clapper.
Unmasking Requests Timeline
November 30, 2016-January 11, 2017: then U.S Ambassador to United Nations Samantha Power made seven requests.
December 2, 2016-January 7, 2017: James Clapper, then director of National Intelligence, made three requests.
December 14 and 16, 2016: John Brennan, then CIA director, made two requests.
January 5, 2017: James Comey, then FBI director, made a request.
January 12, 2017: Denis McDonough, Obama’s Chief of Staff, also made a request.
Biden made a request as well.
What Else We Know
There was a meeting in the Oval Office that Obama had with many of his officials. In Sally Yates’ interview, then Deputy Attorney General, said Obama knew of Flynn’s intercepted phone calls with Kislyak.
After the meeting, Obama asked Yates and Comey to “stay-behind”. He wanted to know if the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information about the phone calls.
The unmasking documents came out a day after Biden told ABC news that he knew nothing about the investigation of Flynn. He called it a “diversion” from the pandemic. He was asked more about it and then changed his story, claiming he misunderstood the question and thought he was being asked if he had anything to do with him being prosecuted. He said he was aware of the investigation, but that that was all he knew.
An email that then National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote has details about Obama’s knowledge and handling of the situation. In the emails it seems that Rice said that Obama had given guidance on how law enforcement should investigate Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential election.
It also said how Obama thought information should be shared with the incoming Trump administration and the Russians.
In the email, Rice wrote that Obama said, “he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.”
There is still a lot we don’t know about the whole Obamagate situation, but it already seems like Obama won’t come out of this the hero as he always tries to do.