A newly released list of declassified names of former Obama officials shows that former Vice President Joe Biden submitted a request to unmask then-incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn on the same day that The Washington Post revealed Flynn’s identity.
The list showed that Biden requested to “unmask the identity of former National Security Adviser, Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn (USA-Ret)” on January 12, 2017.
That same day, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius published Flynn’s identity, revealing that he was unmasked in response to a phone call that he had with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on December 29, 2016.
According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about “disputes” with the United States. Was its spirit violated? The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The list of names that was declassified and released on Wednesday by two U.S. Senators notes that “while the principals are identified below, we cannot confirm they saw the unmasked information.”
Fox News reported in 2017 that the disclosing of Flynn’s identity to the media could be “a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison” because “rules state that if an American with Constitutional protections is collaterally caught in such surveillance, his or her identity must be protected.”
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