The unmasking of Michael Flynn didn’t stop with him, says California Congressman Devin Nunes.
The Republican lawmaker told Fox Business’s Lou Dobbs on Wednesday that other members of President Donald Trump’s transition team besides Flynn were targeted by the Obama administration, and that the American people deserve to know the truth, the Washington Examiner reported.
Nunes: Flynn is just the beginning
As NPR explains, “unmasking” is when a senior intelligence officer asks for the identity of an American who is mentioned, incidentally, in intelligence reports about a foreign surveillance target.
Nunes was reacting to the Wednesday release of documents that revealed a list of senior Obama officials, including Joe Biden, who requested Flynn’s “unmasking” during the presidential transition, as the FBI was first investigating allegations of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign team and Russia.
The list ramped up speculation that Flynn may have been targeted by the Obama administration in an attempt to damage the incoming president, a scandal that Trump has labeled “Obamagate.” Reports indicated that top Obama officials sought to “unmask” Flynn in the final weeks of the Obama presidency, and Flynn was eventually interviewed by the FBI in January of 2017.
But Nunes told Dobbs on Wednesday that the Flynn unmasking is a just a “glimpse” of what he had seen working on the House Intelligence Committee, and that other members of the transition team were unmasked as well.
“It’s even worse than this. I mean, you’re only seeing the folks that unmasked Gen. Flynn,” he said, according to the Examiner. “The reality is there were a whole lot of other Americans on the Trump transition team that were unmasked, and those need to be made public also.”
Trump rages at Obama
The president’s foes have said that the “unmasking” was a routine intelligence activity, but President Trump and his supporters say it is just more evidence of a plot to entrap Flynn and target his boss.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to investigators in 2017, but he later sought to withdraw his plea, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to drop the case against him last week as evidence surfaced that his FBI interview was carried out under false pretenses, as CNBC reported.
According to the DOJ’s filing to dismiss the charges, the interviewers thought that Flynn was being truthful, and they already had in their possession transcripts of phone calls with a Russian ambassador that caused them to continue investigating him in the first place.
With the controversy turning into a new political firestorm, Trump has vocally accused Barack Obama, James Comey, and other foes from the prior administration of springing a trap on Flynn in an unprecedented political scandal. He called for Obama to testify before Congress on Wednesday, declaring that the former president “knew EVERYTHING,” according to Fox News.
Obama has been vocal lately as well, telling allies that the motion to dismiss the case against Flynn puts the rule of law “at risk.” According to The Hill, the former president urged followers simply to “vote” on Thursday.