Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) weighed in on the breaking news of names of Obama administration Officials who were involved in the unmasking of General Flynn. Saying, "And where we go from here is going to be to follow the evidence and where it leads us. Much of this is going to be handled by us in Judiciary Committee. We already have invited General Flynn to appear before our committee in early June. And then we will begin a process of issuing subpoenas for individuals so we can figure out what happened. So that is how we're going to bring daylight. Bear in mind, the Senate Judiciary Committee cannot convict anybody. Try anybody, indict anybody."
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Full Transcript Below:
Guy Benson: Welcome back to the Guy Benson Show. Very glad to have you here. We are following this breaking news and I guess this is still an ongoing Fox News alert that we are now receiving information. This was a letter from Rick Grenell, the acting director of national intelligence. Rand Paul is involved in the process. But the letter was specifically addressed to Senators Grassley and Johnson, both Republicans. And it was in response to their requests about who was in the Obama administration involved with the unmasking of General Flynn in some of this surveillance that caught up foreign nationals in our national or our foreign surveillance and. Flynn was the American in that discussion. You can't spy on Americans. That's the law. So you need to go through the process of unmasking the American. If you find it relevant, which happens, it happens somewhat regularly. But whether or not it was appropriate, given the circumstance, I mean, that's such a key question here. And we are now learning. I'm looking at Fox News.com, that among the Obama administration officials who were part of this, who at least received the information resulting from the unmasking of General Flynn, included John Brennan, included James Clapper, included the Obama chief of staff and his White House, Denis McDonough, and also included in at least one instance, former vise president Joe Biden, who's running for president. So there are a lot of questions here. I don't want to leap to any conclusions, but this is certainly a new. Document. This is new information. And joining me now to discuss this and other matters is U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Republican of Tennessee. She sits on the Judiciary Committee in the Senate, among other committees.
Guy Benson: Senator, good to have you back on the show.
Sen. Blackburn: Well, it is good to be with you, and you're correct. This is something that is breaking news and it is something that we have followed for a period of time trying to figure out who did the young masking, who made the request. And Rick Grenell has now revealed the list. And I think that it is something that people are looking at and saying, OK. Vice President Biden is on that list. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power made seven request for unmasking. James Clapper made three request. John Brennan made two request. so this is something that is I think the American people want to get to the bottom of this. You know, guy, we know that somebody cooked up this plot. Somebody gave an order to carry it out. Somebody did the dirty work flan. And the Trump administration had paid a price on this. And the American people have written the check that has paid for every bit of what is turning out to be a taxpayer funded conspiracy carried out on U.S. citizens. And it is just inconceivable that this happened, but it did.
Guy Benson: So we know that some of these officials, at least nominally made the requests for unmasking. We don't know why. We're not exactly sure if it was even them, because Samantha Power has gone on the record saying. In some cases not necessarily involving Flynn, but unmasking requests came in under her name, even though she didn't do it herself. So I don't know what that even means. You know, how does that happen?
Sen. Blackburn: Yeah. What happened there . When people look at this list, they are going to see president former President Obama's chief of staff, Denis McDonough, right on the list. Now, he was making those requests. Where was he making them? Directly for the president. Was he doing that as something that was assigned to him to work in? I was talking on a radio show this morning about this. And I made the statement that as we in Judiciary Committee began to do our oversight to bring some daylight to this process, the chief of staff's are going to be people we're going to be interested in talking to Obama's chief. Vise, President Biden's chief of staff, to see how they were involved and how the staff was involved in this entire curveball.
Guy Benson: In fact, let me bring this piece of information into the discussion as well. This is from The Washington Examiner. This came out a few days ago, but it seems newly relevant. Former I'm just going to read to you, Senator, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. We remember her. We're now learning based on new documents that have come out. She told special counsel Robert Mueller's team that she first learned the FBI possessed and was investigating recordings of General Flynn in late 2016. His conversation with the Russian envoy. At a meeting at the White House, and it was not James Comey who told Sally Yates about this investigation. It was President Barack Obama himself. So Sally Yates, the deputy A.G. at the time under Obama, told Mueller's team, we've learned from new documents that she first learned that Flynn was being investigated by President Obama. That is very interesting, given what you just mentioned, that Obama's chief of staff is on this unmasking list that we've just received.
Sen. Blackburn: That's correct. And see, what we are fully aware of now is that you had this unseemly plot, which is criminal activity, much of it, not all of it. They can certainly make certain requests. They cannot unmask and make public. They cannot use information for political purposes.
Guy Benson: They can't leak the unmasking.
Sen. Blackburn: That's right. That's right. So you have this action that made its way into the White House, into the West Wing and into the Oval Office. So, you know, from the touch point guy, that is, they individuals in that universe were fully aware of what the FBI and James Comey and his group were doing. Now finding those connectors, who was briefing the president, who was handling that information to him? But yet you had Sally Yates over at DOJ that had no clue this was happening and goes into this January 5th meeting with the president and finds out what's going on.
Guy Benson: POTUS's told her, which I which I think very interesting
Sen. Blackburn: Yeah. So somebody was carrying out this order and committing these actions. And you had your acting DOJ. You didn't know about it.
Guy Benson: Look, I want to again underscore this point. We don't know exactly who made these requests or why. That is something that we, I think, deserve to know. I don't want to leap to any conclusions, as I've said, about Joe Biden's involvement, even though he's on this list. He's going to have to answer more questions about this. He said he knew nothing. I'm not sure that that really holds up at this point, given the fact that his name appears on this list. But I guess, Senator, my next question for you is what do we do from here? We've seen already a letter put out from your colleague, Senator Paul from Kentucky, inviting Rick Grenell to come testify about this. I think I said this at the opening of the show. This if already if this wasn't already the case. Jon Durham needs to have this information. And I think he's probably the best person to dig into this as efficiently and effectively as possible. But what are the steps that you think ought to be taken, whether from the German investigation or from your perch in Congress? What where do we go from here?
Sen. Blackburn: Yes. And where we go from here is going to be to follow the evidence and where it leads us. Much of this is going to be handled by us in Judiciary Committee. We already have invited General Flynn to appear before our committee in early June. And then we will begin a process of issuing subpoenas for individuals so we can figure out what happened. So that is how we're going to bring daylight. Bear in mind, the Senate Judiciary Committee cannot convict anybody. Try anybody, indict anybody.
Sen. Blackburn: We are going to be a.
Guy Benson: Durham can.
Sen. Blackburn: Clarity and and daylight to it. The criminal indictments will come from Durham. We also know we had expected last to fall last fall to get Durham's report, and we knew his investigation had expanded. And then we knew that they pulled Anne Jensen from Missouri to work on this. That is how you have some of the real revelations that have come forward this week.
Guy Benson: Just to clarify, Jensen was the U.S. attorney whose investigation of the Flynn matter specifically led to and his recommendation led the attorney general, Bill Bar, to recommend dropping this case. So that got correct. You've got Genson from Missouri. You've got Durham from Connecticut. If memory serves, if there are going to be indictments coming down, those will come from Durham because he's looking at this entire mess. Correct.
Sen. Blackburn: It's a criminal investigation, right? That he is conducting. So he is taking information that has come from us. Information that has come from Johnson, information that is coming from Documents that have been revealed and all of that ends up with in general. And we will get his report. That is where you're going to get the criminal indictments.
Guy Benson: If they come down. Right. And so act will. We'll keep an eye on that. Undoubtedly. Senator, I want to ask you, because you're talking about subpoenas that you could issue, your committee could issue. The Judiciary Committee and you mentioned that you've invited General Flynn. I just mentioned and we saw the letter go out on Twitter from Senator Paul to Rick Grenell. I'm not sure how much Grinnell would know because he is new at this. And most of all, this activity happened before he was in the current post. I think Flynn, obviously is someone that merits additional testimony. Do you think, given what we know at this point, that we should also hear and subpoenas might come from your committee for people like Comny again or Clapper? Brennan, McDonough, the people on this list.
Sen. Blackburn: Yeah. And Guy, if what we all need to remember is all of this activity took place in Barack Obama's DOJ. And the people we're going to want to hear from are going to be Comey and Clapper and Brennan and Strock and Paige and McCabe. We need to know how it was that this culture at the FBI allowed them to think they could do this and they could get by with it and nobody would ever know. And of course, Hillary loses Donald Trump when Donald Trump keeps pushing back and saying, I didn't do what they're trying to say I did. And finally, we're getting to this those taken,.
Guy Benson: Those infamous Texts senator about the insurance policy between. That's right. Lisa Page and Peter strzok it some of this stuff is sort of cropping back up in my mind as we're looking at all of this. And look, I think I think you're right. They were not expecting Trump to win that he did. They started to panic about what that could mean. And they. We're convinced. And I said this in the opening monologue that there was collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. And they were apparently willing to do a lot of things, some of which may have been unorthodox, unethical, possibly illegal to get to that truth that actually didn't exist. And now we're learning about that. And I'm very curious. The networks in particular, that could not get enough of the Russia collusion story, CNN, MSNBC. I wonder if they will be covering these developments involving Michael Flynn and this list and the unmasking as carefully and as breathlessly as they did and engaged in their coverage for three years. I would imagine not for various reasons. Senator, I think you and I probably know why that would be the case.
Sen. Blackburn: Absolutely, we do. But we're going to stay behind this. We've been hanging in here with this, trying to get to the bottom of it for years. And we're not going to give up now.
Guy Benson: We have to leave it there. There's so much I want to ask you about the coded response in the Pelosi bill that just came out. But we are up on a break, so we'll have to have you back. Is that a deal?
Sen. Blackburn: Absolutely. That's a deal. Take care. Be safe.
Guy Benson: Fantastic. That's Marsha Blackburn, U.S. senator from Tennessee. When we come back, I want to read to you from this Wall Street Journal editorial out today, which also ties into all of this. It's very timely. It's important. And I will get to that next.