Michael Flynn was personally targeted during a crucial Jan. 5, 2017 Oval Office meeting arranged by then-President Barack Obama, a newly declassified document shows.
On Jan. 20, 2017, as President Donald Trump was being inaugurated, former White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice sent herself a bizarre email detailing the Jan. 5 meeting between her, Obama, then-Vice President Joe Biden, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and fired former Federal Bureau of Investigations Director James Comey. In the email, portions of which were not declassified until recently, Rice recorded that Flynn, who at the time was the incoming national security adviser for Trump, was personally discussed and targeted during the meeting with Obama.
“From a national security perspective, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.” At the time, the Obama administration was actively spying on members of the Trump team as part of its Crossfire Hurricane investigation against Trump.
“Comey said he does have some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak,” Rice wrote in a portion of the email that was only recently declassified. “Comey said that could be an issue as it relates to sharing sensitive information.”
“President Obama asked if Comey was saying the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn,” Rice continued. “Comey replied ‘potentially.'”
“[Comey] added that he has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak, but he noted that ‘the level of communication is unusual.'” The email did not explain how it would be “unusual” for an incoming national security adviser to converse with foreign leaders ahead of a new president’s inauguration. Many observers believe the calls between Flynn and Kislyak were little more than pretext to hide the Obama administration’s spy campaign against Trump from the newly elected president’s team and to justify a continued inquisition against Flynn.
The newly declassified portions of the Jan. 5 Rice email confirm that the targeting of Flynn was coordinated within the inner sanctum of the White House and that both Obama and Biden were deeply involved in the campaign to take down Flynn.
Documents previously released and declassified showed that the FBI never possessed any evidence that Flynn was a secret Russian agent or that he had broken any laws. An FBI electronic communication closing the agency’s counterintelligence investigation against him, which was dated Jan. 4, made clear that “no derogatory information” about Flynn had been obtained during the months-long investigation of Flynn.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently determined that an ambush FBI interview of Flynn, which later formed the foundation of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s single charge against Flynn, had no legal basis. Contemporaneous handwritten notes from the FBI’s top counterintelligence official at the time show that the FBI’s goal in targeting Flynn in early 2017 was to “prosecute him or get him fired.” DOJ is currently in the process of dismissing all charges against Flynn, citing rank corruption and abuse of power in the FBI’s campaign against Flynn.
You can read the full email, including the newly declassified portions, here.