White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany during a press conference on Friday, May 15, laid out all the elements of the so-called Obamagate scandal that gained momentum in recent days after newly declassified documents pointed to the alleged abuse of power by Obama administration officials.
“Look, there were a number of questions raised by the actions of the Obama administration. The Steele dossier funded by the Democratic National Committee,” McEnany said. “An opposition political party to the president was used to attain FISA warrants to listen in on conversations of people within the Trump campaign. There was the unmasking the identity of [former National Security Adviser]Michael Flynn.”
“And we know that in a January 5th meeting in the Oval Office with President Obama, [former Deputy Attorney General]Sally Yates from the Department of Justice learned about the unmasking. Not from the Department of Justice or from the FBI, she learned about it from President Obama and was stunned and can barely process what she was hearing at the time, because she was stunned of his knowledge of that,” McEnany added.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) May 15, 2020
On Jan. 5, 2017, Yates along with FBI Director James Comey, Vice President Joe Biden, CIA Director John Brennan, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper attended the meeting. After the meeting, Obama asked Yates and Comey to “stay behind,” and said he had “learned of the information about Flynn” and his conversation with Russia’s ambassador about sanctions.
“We know that there was a lot of wrongdoing in the case of Michael Flynn. The FBI notes, for instance, that said, should we ‘get him to lie?’ as they pontificated their strategy. We know that the identity of this three decade general was leaked to the press, a criminal leak to the press of his identity and violation of his Fourth Amendment rights,” McEnany continued.
When asked by the reporter for specific instances of alleged criminal misconduct, McEnany referenced a list of 39 Obama-era officials who all submitted unmasking requests for information about Flynn that was later leaked to The Washington Post. The list included Biden, Brennan, Clapper, and Comey.
“The leaking of his name and the very real questions that have been raised. But if you want to start talking about wrongdoing in the administration, happy to go through. [Former FBI Deputy Director]Andy McCabe, leaking to the Wall Street Journal and then lying about it. Happy to talk about James Clapper lying before Congress saying the NSA does not monitor phone calls. That was an inaccuracy to say the least, if not a lie. John Brennan telling Congress that the ‘Bogus Steele dossier played no role in the Russia probe,’ when in fact we know it did and was the basis of attaining FISA warrants. So, there is a lot of mistruths there that were said, many of them under oath,” she said.
A conviction for leaking classified information can carry a 10-year prison sentence, according to a former South Carolina Republican and former federal prosecutor Trey Gowdy.