//Republicans alleging wrongdoing have egg all over their faces//
According to news reports on October 14, 2020, the federal prosecutor appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr to review whether Obama-era officials improperly requested the identities of individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence documents has completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing.
The transcripts included conversations between Michael Flynn, who became Trump’s first national security adviser, and the Russian ambassador while Flynn was advising the Trump campaign. The documents surfaced in the FBI’s investigation of Flynn’s Russian contacts. Flynn subsequently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the contacts.
Trump posted almost 20 tweets about the FBI’s unmasking, touting it as “big news.” The Washington Post also reported that:
- Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) called Flynn’s unmasking a bigger scandal than Watergate.
- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) claimed this was an event “unprecedented in the 243 years of our nation’s history.”
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted that “the Obama/Biden administration unmasking” was far worse than Trump walking into the White House without a mask while still contagious with covid-19.
- The Wall Street Journal editorial page, National Review, the Federalist, Fox “News” — all the usual super-spreaders of right-wing conspiracy theories — took up the hue and cry.
But now, the investigation by Barr’s Justice Department, heavily politicized as it is, ends with no finding of wrongdoing. The issue Republicans pointed to as conclusive proof of the deep state and fake news, turns out to be one more Republican demagogic Big Lie.