Many of the Obama-era officials who had a hand in the investigation and eventual charge of Gen. Michael Flynn had “no business” seeking to unmask incoming Trump administration members, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett said Thursday.
Appearing on “Fox & Friends” with host Steve Doocy, Jarrett said that a new Justice Department (DOJ) probe — led by West Texas U.S. Attorney John Bash — into the circumstances surrounding the former Trump national security adviser’s 2017 guilty plea and unmasking will answer whether or not there were legitimate reasons for unmasking requests and “snooping” on the incoming cabinet.
“He will look at [abuses] of power and potential crimes,” he explained.
Republican lawmakers have demanded more information about the extent of the practice after a previously classified list of officials under former President Barack Obama who sought to reveal what turned out to be the identity of Michael Flynn in intelligence reports was released earlier this month.
“You have to have a legitimate stated reason of national security to unmask somebody…”
The DOJ had previously motioned to drop the Flynn case after internal memos were released raising serious questions about the nature of the inquiry.
“Look, you have to have a legitimate stated reason of national security to unmask somebody,” Jarrett stated further. “Look at the list of people during that brief transition period making unmasking requests of Michael Flynn. So many of them were partisan officials who had no business snooping and seeking to unmask the successors: incoming Trump administration.”
“Yes, there were some intel officials there and they have to have a legitimate reason,” he told Doocy.
“So, I think what Bash is going to be digging into is, ‘Let’s see the unmasking requests and reports. Were they legitimate reasons? And what are people in the Treasury Department, ambassadors, indeed Obama’s chief of staff, and Joe Biden doing making unmasking requests and snooping on the incoming administration?’” asked Jarrett.
“Those answers need to be given,” he concluded. “And, frankly, how many other people were victimized by illegitimate spying and unmaking requests?”