I want to follow up on Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and his trials and tribulations. Stay with me for the next few paragraphs.
Acting DNI chief Richard Grenell declassified the unmasking requests Wednesday for Flynn by Obama administration staff as well as State and Treasury departments and NATO officials between Nov. 30, 2016 and Jan. 31, 2017.
The first curious thing that jumped out to me was how many requests were made prior to the infamous Dec. 29, 2016 phone calls between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
I mean “the call” was the prime reason ex-FBI Director James Comey instructed his deputy Andrew McCabe to send FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka to “door-knock” Flynn at The White House.
There were more unmasking requests for Flynn prior to “the call” than there are by customers outside a CVS today.
What documents were they asking to be unmasked that dealt with Flynn prior to “the call’?
Well I believe these requests came as a result of the FISA warrant taken out on Flynn by the FBI in mid-Aug. 2016.
Obviously the FBI found nothing untoward by Flynn prior to “the call,” so a scheme was developed. On Dec.28, 2016 — less than a month left to his term — the Obama White House unexpectedly expelled numerous Russian diplomats for spying.
This action prompted “the call” between Kislyak and Flynn while the general was vacationing in the Dominican Republic. We still have not seen a transcript of the call or the original FBI notes taken during that subsequent White House meeting.
The second curious event was the replacement of the first judge in the Flynn trial.
US District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras presided over the first hearing where Flynn pleaded guilty. However Contreras how to be recused from the trial allegedly because of a friendship with FBI’s Strzok.
I now believe that was a smokescreen. Contreras was asked to step away by the court because he also sits on the FISA court and may have signed off on the Flynn spying warrant.
Third, I believe what I laid out above is the motivation behind Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan ruling of not accepting the Justice Department decision to drop the Flynn case.
The longer Sullivan pushes out the trial — by accepting amicus briefs instead of taking Flynn’s plea change and then dismissing — the longer the general is mothballed from forming a defense and stating what really occurred on “the call” and the subsequent FBI interview.
Lastly, why were there so many requests from State and Treasury departments and NATO officials to unmask Flynn earlier than “the call”? Including one request from then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
I believe the concern in these corners of the Obama administration was whether Flynn was looking into the $1.7 billion in cash dropped on a tarmac in Iran earlier in 2016 by the Obama administration.
One last observation on the unmasking list. Vice President Joe Biden — despite saying Wednesday he knew nothing of the Flynn unmasking — did put a request on for the Flynn information from the DNI on Jan. 17, 2017.
This was the same day he received to the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama.
Curious. Medal of Freedom on the same day you request spying information on a 30-year career military veteran and US citizen. These two messages don’t jive, just saying.