If you’ve followed the saga of the Obama administration and how they dealt with the then incoming Trump administration, you are probably aware of an email Susan Rice sent to herself. In it, she seemed to almost be laying cover, repeating phrases like “by the book” and attempting to frame everything as above board. One line about refusing to share classified information with Trump’s team stood out, especially since it was a decision that didn’t seem to be within their purview. If Americans elect a new President, the prior administration doesn’t get to decide not to proceed with the transition properly, no matter what their suspicions are.
The question of why Rice emailed herself has lingered. That’s certainly not a normal thing someone does. But more so, part of the email remained classified, robbing readers of key context within the conversation she was describing.
Well, that’s no longer a problem, as CBS’ Catherine Herridge has obtained the declassified copy of the email.
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) May 19, 2020
What this provides is further evidence that the Obama administration was targeting Michael Flynn. It also shows that Obama himself was intimately involved in the campaign to kneecap the incoming NSA. Here we see the suggestion that sensitive information be withheld from Flynn, with Comey saying that should “potentially” be the case. There’s some irony in Comey’s “concerns” given it was his FBI that shared classified intelligence with Christopher Steele against regulations.
What’s most noteworthy though is the lack of any evidence whatsoever to back up their suspicions. Talking to the Russian ambassador is not a crime, nor is discussing future policy goals during a transition. The Obama administration had no right at all to play god here and attempt to sandbag Flynn. They did so anyway, and in a way that would be seen as incredibly scandalous if a GOP administration had pulled this nonsense.
Further, given the content of the now declassified paragraph, one must ask why it was specifically classified that way in the first place. Why hide this paragraph? The answer is likely because Flynn was under surveillance at the time. It should also be noted that Comey did not end up doing everything “by the book,” as he later admitted to breaking protocol to send agents to interrogate Flynn.
What this email reads like is a CYA attempt by Rice. It’s likely that the meeting isn’t even being fully described here, but rather that this is a sanitized version meant to protect her if things ever fell apart. This way she can see “see, I thought at the time everything was by the book.” Even still, there’s enough revealed here to show that the Obama administration was out of line in their pursuit of Flynn, and when you couple this with how they eventually bent the rules to get him fired (and later charged by Mueller), things look even worse.