Gowdy: Effort to unmask Trump family members underway as they celebrated dad on Inauguration Day

/ AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

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Former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy revealed Thursday that then-incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn wasn’t the only one whom Obama administration officials had sought to unmask in late 2016 and early 2017 — they’d also tried to unmask members of then-President-elect Donald Trump’s family.

There was an unmasking request made the morning of the inauguration,” he said during an appearance on FNC “America’s Newsroom.” “The morning of the inauguration, President Trump’s family members’ names were unmasked.”

Listen to his full remarks below (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):

While the former congressman cited no evidence to back this up, it’s presumed he gleaned this information from intelligence reports he’d read during his tenure as the chair of the House Oversight Committee prior to his retirement in early 2019.

Reporting by award-winning journalist Adam Housley suggests Flynn “is just the tip of the iceberg” apropos those who were targeted by the Obama administration:

In light of all this emerging information, the goal now is to investigate these unmaskings, according to Senate Judiciary chair Lindsey Graham.

“In light of General Flynn’s unmasking by the Obama Administration, the job of Congress will be to perform oversight of these unmasking requests to ensure the process was used for legitimate national security concerns, not reprisals or political curiosity,” he said in tweets posted Wednesday.

I specifically want to know how many unmasking requests were made, if any, beyond General Flynn regarding members of the Trump campaign team, family, or associates.”

A day later, Graham announced that the committee will “begin holding multiple, in-depth congressional hearings regarding all things related to” the Russian collusion delusion hoax and conspiracy theory starting in early June.

“Our first phase will deal with the government’s decision to dismiss the Flynn case as well as an in-depth analysis of the unmasking requests made by Obama Administration officials against General Flynn. We must determine if these requests were legitimate,” he said in a statement.

“Our next area of inquiry, later this summer, will be oversight building upon the Horowitz report about FISA abuses against Carter Page. My goal is to find out why and how the system got so off the rails. Finally, we will look at whether Robert Mueller should have ever been appointed as Special Counsel. Was there legitimate reason to conclude the Trump campaign had colluded with the Russians?”

Echoing this sentiment, Gowdy said Thursday on FNC that it’d be worthwhile to investigate and question the people who were outed this week in Flynn’s unmasking list — especially since the FBI isn’t already doing this.

You also have a really nice witness list to start investigating the leak of classified information, and I’d be curious how many people on this unmasking list have been interviewed by the FBI over the leak,” he said.

Investigative reporter John Solomon concurs.

“Investigators will need to review the emails, text messages and memos of [unmasking] requesters and possibly interview witnesses to determine whether the unmasking requests were lawful,” he noted. “The key is whether the requester had a valid intelligence reason to possess the name, legal experts say.”

The key also is to determine who then took the unmasked information concerning Flynn and forwarded it to members of the establishment media.

“[I]f an official requested the information because they personally did not like the incoming Trump administration or wanted to thwart Flynn during the transition through leaking or other means, it could be deemed an act against a political adversary and a misuse of unmasking,” Solomon added.

“Likewise, if they shared the name of an American or the transcript contents with an unauthorized person, that could be legally problematic.”

Note also that this would apply to Trump’s family members, meaning in effect that whoever requested their unmasking had better have a very legitimate reason for it.

The end game of all these investigations would be “a better Justice Department,” according to Gowdy.

“The end game is to have a justice system that everyone in this country respects and that is worthy of respect, and it’s been a miserable four years for the FBI in particular but also the Department of Justice,” he said in concluding remarks Thursday.

“God bless Bill Bar for trying to correct it despite all the headwinds from the Democrats and the D.C. media. We got to have a better Justice Department.”

Granted, some real justice would be nice too.


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