As The Washington Post reports, Graham made a big announcement on Tuesday that he was sending a letter to the brand-new extra-Trumpy Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell demanding to know why documents had not been produced to explain who unmasked Flynn’s name in connection with his multiple calls to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Meanwhile, Nunes was back on Fox News to accuse the Obama administration of “unmasking anyone and everyone so that they could leak information to a press.”
These are the calls that Flynn first denied, then lied about not just to the FBI, but supposedly to Mike Pence. They were at the core of both Flynn’s resignation and the charges he is still facing in court, no matter what William Barr and Donald Trump might wish.
The reply that Graham got doesn’t exactly give more power to his bid to get in on this “Obamagate” thing. Because what Grenell sent back was the news that the FBI never masked Flynn’s name. It was always on the report, because understanding who was talking to Kislyak “was essential to understanding its significance.” There was no unmasking request, because there was no mask.
But don’t worry. Graham is given a chance to provide a detailed written response. Between them they’ll surely find a way to blame someone for unveiling what was never veiled. Maybe Nunes can sneak back into the White House basement and get a hot tip from Flynn’s former protege—who is exactly who handed him the claims about unmasking in the first place.
Still, it’s not as if there isn’t some new secret to be uncovered about Flynn’s calls to the Russian ambassador. As Marcy Wheeler reported over at emptywheel:
Flynn wasn’t lying to hide what he said to Kislyak.
He was lying to hide that he had coordinated with people at Mar-a-Lago before speaking with Kislyak.
Records of Flynn’s interviews with the FBI show that he repeatedly lied, not about the contents of the call, but about his own coordination with Trump before and after that call. Not only did Flynn lie directly to the FBI at least three times about his knowledge of sanctions, he followed the call by requesting a written note directly intended to mask the importance of the conversation.
The problem for Graham, Nunes, and others trying to find evidence that Obama did something wrong in regards to Flynn, is that Flynn is a crook, who didn’t just lie to the FBI, but covered up his coordination with the Trump transition team. That’s in addition to numerous violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and planning for the kidnapping of a U.S. resident.
If people keep asking for evidence related to Flynn, they’ll likely find some. They just won’t like it.
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