Graham to probe origins of Russian Federation inquiry; won't call Obama

Graham to probe origins of Russian Federation inquiry; won't call Obama

He appointed a retired judge to present arguments opposing the Justice Department's motion and to recommend whether Flynn should face criminal contempt for perjury - presumably for lying in court about whether he was guilty of lying to federal agents.

While President Donald Trump fired Flynn for lying to Vice President Mike Pence, Trump frequently tweeted about the former general's case, which became a rallying cry for his supporters in attacking the FBI investigation.

It is not uncommon for officials to ask for the identities of anonymous individuals unnamed in intelligence reports, legal and intelligence experts said, but the list is likely to add fuel to a partisan debate over whether Flynn's prosecution was handled appropriately by federal authorities. He has recently begun calling the alleged plot "Obamagate".

"I have no recollection of making a request related to General Flynn".

"We have never requested to unmask any American at all". When that happens, officials are obligated to "mask" the identity of the American if there is no wrongdoing suspected in their involvement in order to protect their privacy. The requests are common, including during the Trump administration, which has made thousands of "unmasking" requests.

In Flynn's case, his name was picked up during surveillance calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak shortly after the 2016 election.

Some of the names and information in the document have been redacted. Later on, USA officials requested to find out who the redacted person was amid concerns about the Trump campaign and the presidential transition team's contact with Russian officials. But just like with Biden's work in Ukraine, when it comes to unmasking Flynn, there's very little evidence that Biden did anything untoward, much less illegal.

This suggests that more senior government officials can request and receive information from these kinds of intercepts than the public realizes.

Susan Rice, Obama's national security advisor, was not named in the document.

True, it's not unusual for officials to make unmasking requests, but Obama's team was obsessed with Trump's foreign-policy team, particularly Michael Flynn, who had been kicked out of Obama's administration.

Graham said Wednesday evening that he would like to see further investigation into whether unmasking requests were submitted beyond Flynn. In that case, the person's name is also "masked".

Former President Obama is throwing his support behind his old Vice President, Joe Biden, in his bid to unseat President Trump in November.

In addition to former Vice President and current presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, it includes a number of ambassadors and Treasury Department officials.

Republican Senator Rand Paul, an ally of Trump, told reporters on Wednesday that he wants a hearing on this matter.

Biden and the other officials had full authority to seek the name of the unidentified American in the reports - it turned out to be Flynn - and did so through proper channels, according to Trump administration documents.

Biden also might not have made the request himself.

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