Rand Paul Demands Biden Explains Why He Unmasked Flynn
Republican senator blasts former vice president: 'He needs to come out of hibernation'
Sen. Rand Paul is demanding Joe Biden comes "out of hibernation" and explains his actions after it was revealed the former vice president unmasked Trump official Michael Flynn.
Biden's decision was exposed Wednesday when Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified a list of Obama officials behind the unmasking of then-incoming National Security Advisor Army Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Flynn.
Grenell decided to unseal bombshell information about Obama admin officials who were behind the campaign to frame former National Security Advisor Flynn as part of a conspiracy against President Donald Trump.
Unmasking refers to a process where top U.S. government officials can request information on American citizens picked up during the electronic surveillance of foreigners.
Flynn's calls with the former Russian ambassador during the presidential transition were picked up in surveillance and later leaked to the media.
The identities of those behind Flynn's unmasking have now been made public, with Biden's name standing out from the crowd.
In response to the list's unsealing, Paul said at a press conference:
"He needs to come out of hibernation and [reporters] need to ask Vice President Biden, ‘What kind of a person eavesdrops, is that something that we think is a legitimate function of government, to eavesdrop on your opponents without a warrant? To illegally unmask them and listen to their private conversation?’"
"From the very beginning, General Flynn’s been treated very poorly by his country," Paul added.
"A guy who’s served 33 years has been treated very poorly, but this is an abuse of power that should not rest, and it should make every American worry that if Vice President Biden were elevated to the top office, would he again use this kind of power on political opponents?
"And the other side needs to realize, this is exactly what they’re accusing President Trump of, but he was actually acquitted on that charge, they have now found that Vice President Biden is guilty of using government to go after a political opponent."
He also called on the Senate to “immediately” hold hearings on the unmasking of Flynn’s name:
The Senate must immediately hold hearings on this! Clapper, Comey, Brennan and even Biden owe it to the American people. They should testify under oath. What did the former president know?— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 13, 2020
Paul comments came after Grenell released to members of Congress a list of names of government officials who unmasked Flynn’s name in intelligence gathered during surveillance of foreign targets.
The list of names of those who requested the unmasking of Flynn’s name includes:
- U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power
- Director for National Intelligence James Clapper
- Deputy Chief of Mission to Italy and Republic of San Marino Kelly Degnan (now Ambassador to Georgia)
- U.S. Ambassador to Italy and the Republic of San Marino, John R. Phillips
- CIA director John Brennan
- U.S. Treasury Office of Intelligence and Analysis Patrick Conlon
- Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew
- Acting Assistant Treasury Secretary Arthur “Danny” McGlynn
- Acting Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mike Neufeld
- Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Sarah Raskin
- Under Secretary Treasury Nathan Sheets
- Acting Under Secretary Treasury Adam Szubin
- U.S. NATO Advisor Robert Bell
- U.S. Representative to the NATO Military Committee Vice Admiral John Christenson
- FBI Director James Comey
- U.S. NATO Office of the Defense Advisor Policy Advisor for Russia Lt. Col. Paul Geehreng
- U.S. NATO Defense Advisor James Hursh
- U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to NATO Lee Litzenberger (now Ambassador to Azerbaijan)
- U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Ambassador Douglas Lute
- U.S. NATO Political Office Scott Parrish
- Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall
- U.S. NATO Political Advisor Tamir Waser
- U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft
- U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass
- White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough
- Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration Michael Dempsey
- Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Stephanie O’Sullivan
- Vice President Joe Biden