Barr Assigns Top Federal Prosecutor To Investigate Obamagate


Attorney General William Barr has assigned U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas John Bash to review episodes of “unmasking” by Obama administration officials before and after the 2016 presidential election, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday night.

In a controversy that has grown since the DOJ moved to drop charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Republican lawmakers have also demanded more information about a list of Obama-era officials who sought to unmask Flynn, Fox News reported.

Unmasking is the intelligence term used for those instances when American citizens speaking to foreign nationals under surveillance have their identities revealed. It takes an official request for that to happen.

DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told Fox News’ “Hannity” that Bash is taking up the probe to support attorney John Durham’s investigation into the Russia investigation.

“The attorney general determined that certain aspects of unmasking needed to be reviewed separately as a support to John Durham’s investigation,” Kupec said, adding that Bash had been assigned to do just that.

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“We know that unmasking inherently isn’t wrong, but certainly the frequency, the motivation and the reasoning behind unmasking can be problematic.”

She added that understanding who was unmasking whom would aid the investigation by helping to understand the motivation behind the action.

“The frequency, who was unmasking whom, all of these circumstances and events can shed light and give us a better understanding of what happened with respect to President Trump, his campaign and of course what happened after he was elected as well,” Kupec said.

Are you glad the DOJ is investigating the unmasking of Flynn?

The Trump administration recently released a list of Obama administration officials who made unmasking requests and who could have learned of Flynn’s identity through them.

Due to the presence on that list of former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, and comments from the attorney currently representing Flynn, Obama’s name has now become linked to the effort to target Flynn.

Other names on the list include former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey and former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

In response to Biden’s name appearing on the declassified list, Biden’s campaign said that Trump was just trying to distract from his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“These documents simply indicate the breadth and depth of concern across the American government — including among career officials — over intelligence reports of Michael Flynn’s attempts to undermine ongoing American national security policy through discussions with Russian officials or other foreign representatives,” spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.

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“[I]t’s telling that these documents were selectively leaked by Republicans abusing their congressional powers to act as arms of the Trump campaign after having them provided by a partisan official installed for this very purpose,” he added.

Kupec added that the D.C. Court of Appeals has invited the DOJ to give its opinion on the Flynn case and she maintained that the department had the “prosecutorial discretion” to decide to drop the case against Flynn.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith