On Tuesday, the U.S. government declassified a suspicious email from Obama national security adviser Susan Rice dated on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration that memorialized a January 5 meeting that Rice and other top Obama officials had in the Oval Office about incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The email revealed that disgraced former FBI Director James Comey allegedly suggested to then-President Barack Obama that he should “potentially” not give “sensitive information related to Russia” to Flynn because of his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Comey said that he had no indication that Flynn had passed any classified information to Kislyak but claimed that “the level of communication is unusual.”
Attorney General William Barr debunked that notion earlier this month in an interview with CBS News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge, saying that Flynn made “a perfectly legitimate and appropriate call he made as a member of the transition.”
“Let me say that, at that point, he was the designated national security adviser for President-Elect Trump, and was part of the transition, which is recognized by the government and funded by the government as an important function to bring in a new administration,” Barr continued. “And it is very typical, very common for the national security team of the incoming president to communicate with foreign leaders.”
“And that call, there was nothing wrong with it whatever. In fact, it was laudable. He– and it was nothing inconsistent with the Obama administration’s policies,” Barr concluded on the matter. “And it was in U.S. interests. He was saying to the Russians, you know, ‘Don’t escalate.’ And they asked him if he remembered saying that, and he said he didn’t remember that.”
Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified the document and sent it to the Department of Justice. Herridge was the first to report the declassified email.
#Flynn Triangulate records: Rice “by the book” email memorializes 1/5/2017 WH meeting but time stamp 1/20. Acting AG Yates tells FBI she first learned Flynn calls during same meeting. Comey transcript “..in the course of that conversation, the President mentioned this(redacted.) pic.twitter.com/jHoCl37irm
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) May 19, 2020
One thing in the email that stuck out to top lawmakers and journalists was Rice’s insistence that everything was done “by the book,” a phrase she mentioned three times in the short email.
This is the weird Rice email memorializing the infamous Jan 5, 2017 meeting at which Flynn was discussed and insisting all was done "by the book." We will hopefully find out more of what was discussed/done.
— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) May 19, 2020
In Star Trek II (Wrath of Kahn – the best of the series), when Kirk says “by the book” it’s code to mean he’s lying. 🤔🤔 https://t.co/fNXzC49sWa
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 19, 2020
Susan Rice sent an email on Inauguration Day to let everyone know that everything was completely legit, and Obama definitely did not order the Code Red. Not weird at all!
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) May 19, 2020
The Obama-era scandal has grown to the point that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is now looking for records from 53 Obama-era officials, including, “Trisha Anderson, Brian Auten, James Baker, William Barr, Dana Boente, Jennifer Boone, John Brennan, James Clapper, Kevin Clinesmith, James Comey, Patrick Conlon, Michael Dempsey, Stuart Evans, Tashina Gauhar, Carl Ghattas, Curtis Heide, Kathleen Kavalec, David Laufman, Stephen Laycock, Jacob Lew, Loretta Lynch, Andrew McCabe, Mary McCord, Denis McDonough, Arthur McGlynn, Jonathan Moffa, Sally Moyer, Mike Neufield, Sean Newell, Victoria Nuland, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Stephanie L. O’Sullivan, Lisa Page, Joseph Pientka, John Podesta, Samantha Power, E.W. “Bill” Priestap, Sarah Raskin, Steve Ricchetti, Susan Rice, Rod Rosenstein, Gabriel Sanz-Rexach, Nathan Sheets, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Glenn Simpson, Steve Somma, Peter Strzok, Michael Sussman, Adam Szubin, Jonathan Winer, Christopher Wray, and Sally Yates.”
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