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Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., asked the Trump administration to declassify the entire email that President Obama’s former national security Susan Rice sent herself just before her boss was about to leave office, a report said.
Politico reported Monday that it viewed Johnson’s letter, which requested that Rice’s entire email that touched on the January 5, 2017, meeting be released. He said the email summarized the meeting where Obama and his top officials discussed the Michael Flynn case. Flynn was President Trump’s first national security adviser.
Earlier this month, Attorney General William Barr’s Justice Department dismissed the case against Flynn, who was seen as the key prosecution witness from Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign.
Trump has been trying to go on the offensive after a string of developments he says bolstered his claim that the Russian collusion investigation conducted was nothing more than a political witch hunt.
The White House meeting on Jan. 5, 2017 has been the source of speculation. The roster in attendance included Obama, Vice President Biden, Rice, then-FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, then-CIA Director John Brennan and then-Director of National Intelligence James Capper and they talked about the Flynn investigation.
Obama asked Yates and Comey to “stay behind,” and said he had “learned of the information about Flynn” and his conversation with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador about sanctions, an exhibit in the DOJ’s motion to dismiss the Flynn case said. Obama “specified that he did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information.”
Biden was recently asked about the meeting after the Trump administration released the Obama-era officials behind the Flynn’s “unmasking.” Biden told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he was “aware that there was, that they’d asked for, an investigation. But that’s all I know about it.”
Rice and other Obama officials have insisted that they did nothing wrong and “unmasking” is routine.
Johnson has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration and its role in the Flynn fallout. He recently told Fox News that he has long felt that there “has been a concerted effort to sabotage” the Trump White House.
Johnson wrote the letter to Barr and pointed out that that most of Rice’s email was already declassified, but a portion remains a mystery.
“The significance of that meeting is becoming increasingly apparent as more and more information is declassified. For these reasons, it is essential that Congress and the American people understand what occurred during that January 5, 2017, meeting and how it was later characterized by administration officials. The declassification of Ambassador Rice’s email, in whole, will assist these efforts,” he wrote, according to the Politico report.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report