Declassified Email Shows Comey Raised Concerns Over Sharing ‘Sensitive’ Information With Flynn

An email from former President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice to herself that was fully declassified on Tuesday shows that former FBI Director James Comey raised concerns about sharing “sensitive information” with Michael Flynn.

Parts of the email, dated January 20, 2017, showed that Obama administration officials discussed law enforcement’s handling of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections during a White House meeting on January 5, 2017.

Additionally, they discussed whether or not they should withhold information from Flynn, who was slated to become President Donald Trump’s national security adviser.

“Director Comey affirmed that he is processing ‘by the book’ as it relates to law enforcement. From a national security perspective, Comey said he does have some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian ambassador Kislyak. Comey said that could be an issue as it relates to sharing sensitive information,” Rice wrote.

She added, “President Obama asked if Comey was saying that the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn. Comey replied ‘potentially.’ He added that he has no indication that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak, but he noted that ‘the level of communication is unusual.'”

Read the email below:

The declassification of that email comes after Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked the acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell to declassify the whole email.

Republicans, who were aware of the email as early as 2018, have been eying the memo which they found “unusual” as Rice apparently sent it to her self on the day Trump was inaugurated. 

However, the portion referencing Comey’s concerns about sharing sensitive information with Flynn had been classified until now. 

“On January 5, following a briefing by IC [intelligence community] leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential election, President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present,” Rice wrote in the portion that had previously been disclosed. 

“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.’ The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating, or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book,” she added. 

In a 2018 letter to Rice, Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, “It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation.”

They added, “Substantial questions have arisen about whether officials at the FBI, as well as at the Justice Department and the State Department, actually did proceed ‘by the book.'”

The declassification of the email comes as Republicans have given renewed attention to their skepticism of the origins of the Russia investigation.  Graham has vowed to investigate “all things related” to the Russia investigation — including the prosecution of Flynn, as IJR reported.

Additionally, it comes days after Grenell declassified a list of Obama administration officials who received unmasking information regarding Flynn’s contacts with the then-Russian ambassador, as IJR reported

Responses

  1. “On January 5, following a briefing by IC [intelligence community] leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential election, President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present,” Rice wrote in the portion that had previously been disclosed.

    Every one of these are crooked, should be tarred and feathered, and tried for treason.

  2. If you want to be fair and balanced in your coverage of this issue, you need to ask yourself — since no one yet has provided ANY evidence that Flynn was colluding or conspiring with the Russians — why would Obama, Comey and the other intelligence agencies want to stop Flynn from being part of the Trump Administration? Conservatives say that “Flynn knows where the bodies are hidden.” What does that mean, and is there any truth to that? One free source of information on that topic that your liberal competitors have ignored and Fox really didn’t pursue are documents released under FOIA to Judicial Watch. They announced two apparently related government documents on the same day: 1) An inventory list of weapons secretly being sent from Benghazi to Syrian rebels. There were no uncensored information, apparently, that documented who authorized the shipment. However, as I understand it, it was while Hillary was Secretary of State and near the time of the Benghazi attack by militants. I can recall that some far-right commentator very soon after the attack claimed to have evidence or testimony that Chris Stevens was scheduled to meet with a diplomat from Turkey about a plan to ship weapons to Syrian rebels. 2) Among the same documents released to Judicial Watch was a memo written by Lt. Gen. Flynn (then head of military intelligence) that warned recipients that weapons being shipped to Syrian rebels would almost certainly fall into the hands of ISIS, which at that time was not what it soon grew to be — the most ferocious terrorist group on the planet. Those documents were secured by JW well over a year ago, I believe. Other recent conservative “experts” have suggested other knowledge Flynn would have had that would be of threat to at least the reputation of Obama and intelligence officials who served under him.

  3. Decision making was a concern before trump took office. trumps decision making process since he took office brought us to this point. Take some more pills Don.

  4. It’s too bad the trump administration didn’t pay attention when attending transition meetings

    1. oh President Trump and his people all paid attention. Did you not find it funny he let these obozo holdouts remain in their position. He knew what they were plotting…but President Trump is a lot smarter than any of the obozo holdout weasels and I can’t wait to watch them get their due now!! This will cause the downfall of the party known as the democrats..led by nutty nancy, nasty nadler, shifty schitthead and the one in in the senate crusty chuckie!!! They are all fixing to be washed up and sitting in prison in the jail duds!!

      1. “He knew what they were plotting…but President Trump is a lot smarter than any of the obozo holdout weasels” Joyce

        What on Earth gave you the idea that King Donald The Loser was SMART, in ANY way, about ANYTHING? Because he TOLD you that he was smart? The guy is as dumb as a box of nails. I have sweat that is smarter than he will ever be.

        1. What on Earth gave you the idea that General Confusion Scott Urquhart was SMART, in ANY way, about ANYTHING? Because you TOLD us Trump is dumber than sweat? Your success pales in comparison. You’re not President.

  5. Smoke & mirrors attempt to make something out of nothing…everything was done by the book.

      1. Who wants heros? We need someone who can do the job. Not conflate failures.

    1. If by the book you mean some shady backroom deals to undermine the incoming elected President, yes it was. The fact more and more is pointing to the entire “Russian” collusion was a fraud from day one.

      Comey has always been sneaky POS and he brought that to the FBI who now has absolutely no integrity.

  6. So, after what we have learned about what they attempted to do to Gen. Flynn we are going to believe Comey and Susan Rice now? That’s funny: their carrier is mostly underwater and they are still trying to bail!

    1. Exactly! Why did Susan Rice email herself?? The dems are so crooked they reek with stench! I’ll be so glad when everything surfaces and dems lose the election because of their abuse of power not President Trump’s abuse of power. President Trump is only trying to prove who is crooked and it sure isn’t the Republicans!
      #REDWAVE
      #TRUMP2020
      #TrumpTrain

          1. They could hold his hand when he is on his death bed because I am sure his wife won’t.

  7. Comey is a smug, nasty, lying, self-important, piece of scum.

    1. Yes he is and I can’t wait to see him and obozo charged and convicted of the crimes they have committed! It is about time!!

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