The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee is calling for acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Richard Grenell to release intelligence reports on former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn‘s phone calls with the then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“Selectively declassifying intelligence solely for political purposes undermines the Intelligence Community’s credibility, and erodes public trust in institutions critical to protecting the nation,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) wrote in a letter to Grenell that was obtained by Politico.
Warner continued to call for Grenell to “provide the Committee with the underlying intelligence reports in which the identity of the individual was ‘unmasked’” turned out to be Flynn.
Warner’s letter comes as Grenell has declassified a series of documents related to the investigation of Flynn. Republicans have seized on those documents to argue that law enforcement and intelligence illegally spied on Flynn and members of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team.
Last week, Grenell declassified a list of “unmasking” requests made by officials in former President Barack Obama’s administration that revealed Flynn had contacts with foreign officials.
Republicans argued that Obama administration officials improperly requested to “unmask” Flynn. However, intelligence officials noted that is not how the process works. Instead, officials ask to uncover the name of an American that appears in an intelligence report — without knowing the individual’s identity ahead of time.
Additionally, a new report from The Washington Post appeared to show that the list declassified by Grenell did not relate to Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak.
The Post reports that Flynn’s calls with Kislyak were picked up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that his name was not “masked.”
Warner is asking Grenell to “declassify and make publicly available any intelligence report concerning conversations between Lt. Gen. Flynn (ret.) and Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak … to more fully and properly inform the American people of the events surrounding the unmasking of” Flynn.
“These calls have been the topic of the multiple investigations, trials, and plea agreements concerning General Flynn and merit being in the public domain,” Warner added.