READ: DNI Grenell Unmasks Obama Officials, Including Biden, In Boon For Fever Swamps

Newly accredited US Ambassador Richard Allen Grenell gets in his car after an accreditation ceremony for new Ambassadors in Berlin, Germany, on May 08, 2018. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP) (Photo credit should ... Newly accredited US Ambassador Richard Allen Grenell gets in his car after an accreditation ceremony for new Ambassadors in Berlin, Germany, on May 08, 2018. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell released the names of Obama officials supposedly involved in “unmasking” Michael Flynn, including former Vice President and Democratic candidate for President Joe Biden, in an example of the Trump administration using its broad intelligence powers to attack a political opponent.

The list came within a day of Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WS) requesting the names of Obama officials who had asked that a U.S. citizen picked up on intelligence reports about Russian interference in the 2016 election be identified.

The names of American citizens in intelligence reports are typically redacted. High-ranking officials can ask for the names to be revealed.

The name that was revealed in this case was that of incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

The so-called “unmasking” of Flynn has become a firestorm directed by Trumpworld, which is using it to suggest that Flynn’s prosecution was somehow politically orchestrated.

The names on the list include then-U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Biden, among others.

“The officials listed should confirm whether they reviewed this information, why they asked for it and what they did with it, and answer many other questions that have been raised by recent revelations,” Grassley and Johnson said in a statement. “The records are one step forward in an important effort to get to the bottom of what the Obama administration did during the Russia investigation and to Lt. General Flynn.”

Grenell made the decision to release the information along with Attorney General Bill Barr.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) immediately seized on the development, calling Grenell to testify before the Senate next week.

“Today I received the shocking reply that @JoeBiden and many others knew!” Paul tweeted. “What did President Obama know?”

Trump repeated the phrase “Obamagate” in front of reporters on Monday, accusing the former President of committing a crime. When a reporter asked Trump what crime Obama committed, the President replied, “you know what it is.”

That in turn came after the DOJ performed an unprecedented about face to absolve Flynn of a charge to which he had pleaded guilty. The Justice Department moved to drop charges against the former National Security Adviser last week.

Read the list here:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

TPM Staff
Latest Muckraker
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: