Michael Flynn ‘Unmasking’ Probe Reportedly Concludes Without Charges

Zachary Evans
·2 min read

The probe into Obama administration officials’ alleged “unmasking” of former national security adviser Michael Flynn has been closed without charges, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Attorney General William Barr in May appointed U.S. attorney John Bash to review the process undertaken by the Obama administration to “unmask” Flynn. In general, the process follows a request by a federal official to reveal the name of a U.S. citizen mentioned in classified intelligence reports.

Between late 2016 and January 2017, top Obama administration officials made 39 requests to unmask Flynn’s identity. Flynn’s name was then leaked illegally to the Washington Post, which reported that the former adviser had spoken to Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak after the Obama administration sanctioned the country for interference in the 2016 election. FBI agents subsequently interviewed Flynn, and on the basis of that interview Flynn later pleaded guilty to one count of lying to federal agents.

President Trump and Republican allies have alleged that the unmasking of Flynn was illegal, and that those who revealed Flynn’s identity should be imprisoned. However, the probe conducted by Bash into unmasking has concluded without charges or a public report on the matter, sources familiar with the probe told the Post.

The sources said Bash’s investigation also looked into whether Obama administration officials leaked Flynn’s name to the press. However, Attorney General Barr has reportedly decided not to reveal the results of the investigation to the public.

Barr has appointed U.S. attorney John Durham to oversee a more comprehensive probe into Obama-era officials’ handling of the investigation into allegations that the Trump-campaign collaborated with Russian intelligence officers during the 2016 election. The results of Durham’s probe will not be released before the November elections, Barr has said.

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