Fox News reports Attorney General Bill Barr has asked U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas John Bash to review the practice of “unmasking” before and after the 2016 presidential election, a controversy that has picked up steam after the Justice Department moved to drop charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the DOJ announced.
Republican lawmakers have demanded more information about the extent of the practice after a previously clandestine list of Obama-era officials who sought to reveal what turned out to be the identity of Michael Flynn in intelligence reports was recently released.
Kerri Kupec, a spokesperson for the Justice Department said on Fox News’ ‘Hannity’ Wednesday that U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is reviewing the origins of the Trump Russia Investigation, was looking into “unmasking” but that Barr determined that certain aspects of the practice needed further review, and Bash has been assigned to do so.
“The frequency and who was unmasking whom, and what happened after President Trump was elected as well,” Kupec said.
The DOJ spokesperson also affirmed that the Washington D.C. appeals court has invited the DOJ to weigh in on the Flynn case, “and we will.”
Kupec maintains that the DOJ has the ability to drop the case against Flynn– President Trump’s former National Security Adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI back 2017 about his Russian contacts– and are weighing the possibility.
“We have the prosecutorial discretion to make that decision.”