The federal prosecutor conducting the criminal investigation into the origins of the Russian collusion hoax has been given a list of people “unmasked” by the FBI during the latter days of the Obama administration.
According to investigative reporter Sara A. Carter, the Justice Department received the list late Monday from acting Department of National Intelligence Director Richard Grenell. Now, the question as to whether the names will eventually be made public will be up to the current ODNI director, not the DoJ, she told Fox News’ “Hannity” Tuesday night.
“Director of National Intelligence Rick Grenell turned over the list. Now, this is the list the Obama officials that were unmasking Americans. And you and I had reported on this in 2017,” Carter said.
“This was after the November 2016 election, up until January, when President Trump took office. So there were a number of Obama officials actually involved. Now he’s turned over that list to the Department of Justice,” she continued.
“John Durham is actually looking into this as well because as we know, Michael Flynn’s name was unmasked. It’s highly classified and that was in the Washington Post. His conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that started this whole mess,” Carter explained.
“The Department of Justice is looking over the documents that Rick Grenell has turned over. What I’ve been told by senior Republican lawmakers that they are gonna take a step back. They believe that these documents will be made public,” the investigative reporter told Hannity.
“And they will be made public soon, but they’re gonna take a step back and they’re gonna allow the DNI and the DOJ to work through this and decide who is best to release the documents.”
She went on to remind viewers that an outsized amount of unmasking — revealing the identify of persons under classified surveillance, in this case American citizens — took place during the Obama administration.
Senior administration officials including former UN Ambassador Samantha Power was also reportedly involved in ummasking Americans, though she denied any knowledge in closed-door testimony before Congress.
The ACLJ noted in 2018 that Power told lawmakers that she wasn’t the one who made hundreds of requests to unmask Americans, but rather underlings in the State Department did so using her name.
According to numerous previous reports, “[f]ormer United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power is believed to have made ‘hundreds’ of unmasking requests to identify individuals named in classified intelligence community reports related to Trump and his presidential transition team.”
During an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, then-U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) explained Power’s testimony:
Her testimony is they may be under my name, but I did not make those requests . . . .
I think if she were on your show, she would say those requests to unmask may have been attributed to her, but they greatly exceed by an exponential factor the requests she actually made . . . . So, that’s her testimony, and she was pretty emphatic in it.
Whether that testimony holds up under Durham’s scrutiny remains to be seen.