John Solomon’s article goes a long ways towards explaining the difference between legitimate unmasking requests and illegitimate unmasking requests. By now, Washington, DC, is awash with the Democrats’ spin on why the Flynn unmasking wasn’t a big deal. It’s a new version of ‘no big deal, just keep moving.’ That isn’t the truth. This is a big deal.

For instance, Solomon explained that “If a Treasury official like Raskin or the U.N. ambassador requested the unmasking because they were trying to deal with a foreign official confused by U.S. policy during the transition, that likely would be deemed a lawful intelligence purpose. But if an official requested the information because they personally did not like the incoming Trump administration or wanted to thwart Flynn during the transition through leaking or other means, it could be deemed an act against a political adversary and a misuse of unmasking.”

According to this article, “The first request appears to have been made as part of a report on Nov. 30, 2016. Along with Biden, other Obama administration officials listed are Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.” That’s long before the Flynn-Kislyak call. The Flynn-Kislyak call happened in late December.

A final question for the investigators resides in the policy question about whether unmasking has become too easy to do and therefore infringes on Americans privacy, specifically the Constitution’s 4th Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure. On that front, there are already troubling revelations. Power, whose name was invoked for hundreds of unmasking requests, testified to Congress she did not make most of those requests attributed to her. That suggests some dangerous looseness in the unmasking system.

The political people who requested these unmaskings haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt. They each have a history of dishonesty.

It’s worth noting that Solomon said that Flynn isn’t the only member of the Trump team that the Obama administration unmasked. I suspect that there’s a closet of shoes left to drop on this. It might not be an Imelda Marcos-sized shoe closet but it’s still a shoe closet.

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