There’s something odd about the transcript of Michael Flynn’s December 29, 2016, phone call with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the one that apparently contained some mention of sanctions. There’s no unmasking request that corresponds to that call.

What?

Believe it or not, in the list of unmasking requests passed along to Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson by acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, who assures them it is complete, there is no request on December 29. There are quite a few BEFORE December 29, and we can’t tell just from the list what transcripts they involved, but the dates tell us they couldn’t possibly have been for the Kislyak call because it hadn’t happened yet.

Everyone and his dog seemed to want Flynn’s name unmasked on December 14-15-16, and on December 28 there’s a request by the U.S. ambassador to Turkey (huh?) Then it gets quiet till January 5, 2017, which is the date of that big Oval Office meeting and also the day White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough calls for Flynn’s name to be unmasked. There are still more calls for unmasking after that, including on January 17, when Vice President Joe Biden did it.

But since Obama and James Comey were already aware of the December 29 “sanctions” call between Flynn and Kislyak on January 5 –- we know this from Sally Yates’ testimony –- how did they get Flynn’s name? In fact, we know Andrew McCabe knew about the call on January 3, because that’s when he briefed Mary McCord of the DOJ’s National Security Division. ALL the unmaskings on this list took place either before that call took place or after the Oval Office meeting. It’s a mystery.

Dan Bongino talked about this in his Friday podcast but I wanted to do a little research before coming to any conclusions. On Saturday, Andrew C. McCarthy offered his own take, which is that Flynn’s name must have been gathered in some other way that had not masked his name in the first place. The call would have been intercepted, he said, “under an intelligence program not subject to the masking rules, probably by the CIA or a friendly foreign spy service acting in a nod-and-wink arrangement with our intelligence community.

McCarthy explains how intelligence collection under FISA is supposed to work. There are actually two kinds: the “traditional” FISA warrant, which is the targeted monitoring of a suspected clandestine operative of a foreign power inside the U.S. (which can INCIDENTALLY intercept the communications of Americans who happen to talk to him/her); and the “Section 702” version, which targets non-Americans outside the U.S. (which can also INCIDENTALLY intercept the communications of Americans).

Both kinds of FISA transcripts are subject to what they call minimization procedures, which is the masking of the names of those whose communications are incidentally intercepted. Their names are replaced with the generic designation “U.S. Person.” Unmasking the name of an American is a BIG DEAL, McCarthy says, as “foreign intelligence must never be used as a pretext for spying on Americans.” (I’ll pause here for laughter.)

It’s been assumed that Kislyak was routinely subjected to “traditional” FISA monitoring, and perhaps “702” monitoring when he was abroad. Both of those would have called for Flynn’s name to be masked.

McCarthy postulates that for this phone call Flynn was being spied on by the CIA, which is not subject to FISA law because its intelligence operations are conducted outside the United States. Guess what? Flynn was not in the United States on December 29. He was in the Dominican Republic for a brief vacation. We don’t know where Kislyak was, but it’s very likely he was in Russia, as Washington was shut down for the holiday and in Russia they celebrate Christmas on January 7.

McCarthy makes a compelling case, consistent with claims he made in his book BALL OF COLLUSION, that Flynn was being monitored either directly by the CIA or by “a friendly foreign intelligence service.” He makes it clear that, yes, all the unmasking that was done on Flynn was truly scandalous but that now we’re seeing another dirty layer of spying and sabotage that was thrown at Trump’s campaign and incoming administration. This has got to be exposed for what it was so it NEVER happens in America again. And all those involved need to pay dearly for what they did.

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Comments 1-25 of 65

  • rodney burke

    05/19/2020 12:18 PM

    "dearly " is the word, This entire affair was unconscionable. But that is the characteristic of a communist and the mentally ill. They must not only pay politically but financially and personally. I've asked for diving intervention. God sure is taking his time but...ha, ha! I leave that in his hands.

  • Carl "T" Smith

    05/19/2020 11:55 AM

    For the Sane people this is beyond Treason but unfortunately even when the True story is fully exposed NO one at the top will even lose benefits but be embraced by a media that is so far down the Rabbit Hole they have become useless. I have been having some conversations with other 'older' Veterans and with few exceptions we are questioning, was our effort worth it, seeing the direction the nation has gone in the last 20 years. Does THE OATH even have any use in politics? Seems to us that it's just a tradition that must be exercised for the cameras.

  • Nadine Zerbe

    05/19/2020 10:51 AM

    Is there any hope they will ever “pay dearly?”

  • HelenC

    05/19/2020 10:16 AM

    Dems from previous administration r coming out of the woodwork and one is running to replace President Trump. COVID-19 self isolation is a preview of what life will be if they regain control of White House. It’s a no brainer to figure out which way to vote for president in Nov—President Trump. If mail-in voting, as pushed by Pelosi and her foot soldiers, passed—require fingerprint on each mail in vote. Votes with identical fingerprints automatically are thrown out. If we’re going to live in a fascist police state, go all the way with each resident submitting set of fingerprints to government.

  • Neil Harrington

    05/19/2020 04:56 AM

    Those at the top of the deep state/democrat conspiracy pyramid should pay a very heavy price! Why do 'top-dogs' always seem to escape the net? This is vital - people are suffering.

  • Susan Wilson

    05/19/2020 03:21 AM

    Will you please tell, President Trump that I had quinine to deliver my daughter and Zithromax after a bad cold/pneumonia after my last "Cemo" treatment at Christmas eve, eve, 15 years ago, and going strong I take triple Iodine and occasionally Zink. The best people to ask about MEDICINE is a Pharmacist or all highly trained people. I trust them more than most doctors.... An OLD Lady

  • Amy Syrell

    05/18/2020 10:00 PM

    This mess keeps getting larger and wider.

  • Tina Vogl

    05/18/2020 09:50 PM

    I just received an email from Sarah asking for money to fund her Arkansas small business. I find this very admirable, and inappropriate at the same time. I live in Missouri and have a small business and do not qualify for anything.

  • wallace fulton

    05/18/2020 09:43 PM

    This nation owes Mr Flynn a full refund of all fees he has had to pay, this fine man is due this much for all the lies and Libtard charges he has had to contend with.

  • Gary Stilwell

    05/18/2020 09:13 PM

    This is the kind of sleuthing that reveals the real deal--you get those little tiny dates/times,that make no sense and you make the connects--
    Good job!

  • Margaret Nusser Gerlach

    05/18/2020 09:10 PM

    I do not and will not understand why these people are not held accountable and brought to justice. Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Schiff, and all their minions need to be charged with something, that it is not a specific felony is nauseating. Hillary and the Clinton foundation as well as everything Bill did is sickening with no consequences is sickening. It makes me feel like I cannot ever trust the government again

  • Kirk Rushing

    05/18/2020 07:30 PM

    Draining the Swamp !! Another Promise made and promises being kept. We Love our President and you also Governor.

  • Jerry Korba

    05/18/2020 07:01 PM

    L. Graham is a paper tiger his outburst at the Kavanaugh hearing was his only big hit one hit wonder don't expect much more from him in the future thats what he brought to the table thats what he will be known for the one hit wonder he's done.

  • Angela L Lawson

    05/18/2020 06:57 PM

    Governor Huckabee, I was extremely upset today to learn after all of this outing of, as President Trump calls it "Obamagate", that AG Barr has already spoken that he does not feel that Biden nor Obama will be "criminally" charged in these investigations. If nothing else couldn't they be charged for being accessories to these criminal unmaskings that were leaked? Will there ever be justice for President Trump and his Administration? I would truly love to know your thoughts on this Governor.

  • Jerry Korba

    05/18/2020 06:52 PM

    With Obama and his legacy fit for a toxic landfill most people know he was a very good crime boss however almost everything has a shelf life I think Obamas legacy like Obama himself his clout may be wearing thin. He chastised Michael Jordan for not getting into politics with him MJ didn't want to dirty himself clinging to Obama and his mess smart move on MJ part. All the people connected to Obama appears to be dirty and dishonest that will be his legacy. Dirty and Dishonest he will not be ashamed of that getting caught is what will kill him.

  • John Bergman

    05/18/2020 06:46 PM

    I just looked up the Obama bill... Executive order 12333... did this help in creating some of this MESS

  • John Bergman

    05/18/2020 06:40 PM

    after reading this, I am remembering that Obama signed a bill just before leaving office that had something to do with spying by the FBI, to allow MORE
    and Legalize some others

  • Pamela Tilden

    05/18/2020 06:20 PM

    The truth is finally being made public, but I want Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, Powers, McDonough and Obama held accountable and placed in prison where they belong! President Trump told Graham he wanted Obama questioned but Graham said no! What happened to Graham? Has Graham lost his backbone? These people need to be brought to justice soon so CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC can be proven as the liars they are!

  • Cheryl Lindsey

    05/18/2020 05:25 PM

    Edward Snowden was turned into a traitor, pariah, and called out as having committed treason for trying to alert the public as to the spying on Americans that was occurring in the upper echelons of the NSA, CIA and others. Yes, he leaked but where could he go? To the Obama administration? He would have been put into a meat grinder. Now, thanks to the election of DT and the Attorney General, they are being found out.

  • Dianna Bostick

    05/18/2020 05:16 PM

    Yes they need to pay dearly for what they’ve put Americans and the president through!! The million dollar question is when!?

  • Michael Moody

    05/18/2020 04:38 PM

    Dear Mike:

    I agree that this was all terrible. But what is really terrible is that it is not a big issue with the public. How many ways can you say, they lied. Joe Biden denied any knowledge of this unmasking and the evidence is plain and without dispute that he did know.

    You remember that line about "What did the President know and when did he know it?" That question could be asked of Joe Biden but it is not. The reason is the media. Trump is his own worst enemy some time and everybody knows that. But far far too many people don't know and don't understand that they are being played for a bunch of saps by the liberal monopoly of content.

    Without the corona virus, this should have been and would have been the major news item of the campaign. But that is only true apparently if this violation of rights and law can be manipulated for the benefit of the left.

    Donald Trump has a lot of problems but I intend to vote for him no matter what. If people could come to understand that if they did it to the big visible, prominent and wealthy guys, what would they do to us if they felt like it. It doesn't matter what they policies are. It is what will the Democrats do to us when they get back the power they lust for like a rabid dog does when he sees water in a bowl.

    The real answer is not to drain the swamp. I don't dispute that is necessary. What is really necessary is we have to do some trust busting of the media giants. Socialist like to point the finger at big evil captains of industry. Well, the media leaders are those big evil giants. If I was to run for federal elected office, I would try to bring back the equal time provisions of the law under the SEC. I would write letters to the Attorney General to try to get the moribund antitrust division to look at the big media and tech giants and the, I am sure, provable collusion on content. That is what I think we have to do to put some perspective on this unmasking. It is the liberal media that needs to be unmasked.

  • Danny browning

    05/18/2020 04:23 PM

    Governor I am more concerned about somebody unmasking what the Veterans Administration of socialized medicine is doing to the vets. They started cancelling appointments back in January and now moving them back as far as October. They are not seeing vets that need treatment and for them to say they did a consensual study in 376 of the aged vets with the malaria medicine and they all died. It is totally outrageous. Despite all this every single one of them are still working with no patients and now wanting hazard pay for sitting behind their desks. This i a horrible thing to do. These are guys who fought for our freedoms and our country is throwing them to the dogs. There needs to be major investigation, but it won’t be because the lies begin and coverups begin before it reaches the top channel of leadership.

  • George Zink

    05/18/2020 04:00 PM

    "all those involved need to pay dearly" -- fat chance.........

  • Barbara Weller

    05/18/2020 03:51 PM

    The only question is the question that has been lurking now for 3 years. When is someone going to go to jail?? I hope that Durham isn't waiting long enough so that he delays any indictments until after the election. I'm nearly 80. I don't have time to wait for history to see how this all turns out. Nixon was a Boy Scout compared to this. I wish he had had Trump's moxie. This could be an entirely different world if he had stood up and refused to resign.

  • Kathleen Kemmer

    05/18/2020 03:44 PM

    Hi all: The new statute regarding "sanctions" was only created on Dec. 28 by Barack Obama. Even the FBI was unaware of this new statute on December 29. We know that Flynn was on vacation in the Dominican Republic on December 29. So he could not have known about the newly announced sanctions statute on that day. So the FBI never asked Flynn about sanctions, and Flynn did not even know about them in his Dec. 29 call from the Russian Ambassador. There have been numerous newstories printed early January, showing that Flynn had denied he ever discussed sanctions. This was just Obama's pretext to set another trap for Flynn.