"I declassified the enclosed document, which I am providing to you for your situational awareness," Grenell wrote in his note to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
The list contains names of recipients who may have received Flynn's identity in response to a request processed between Nov. 8, 2016, and Jan. 31, 2017, to unmask an identity that had been generically referred to in a National Security Agency foreign intelligence report.
In the course of monitoring communications with foreign officials, the conversations of U.S. citizens are at times incidentally collected by intelligence agencies. The identity of these people is usually redacted in transcripts or intelligence reports if they’re not the subject of surveillance. “Unmasking” refers to the process of revealing the name of the U.S. citizen.
The names of that list include former Vice President Joe Biden, Obama's then-chief of staff Denis McDonough, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI director James Comey, and former Director of the CIA John Brennan. Along with names, the list also includes dates of when the recipient had requested the unmasking.
Some of the names and information in the document have been redacted.
"Each individual was an authorized recipient of the original report and the unmasking was approved through NSA's standard process, which includes a review of the justification for the request," the declassified document said.
"Only certain personnel are authorized to submit unmasking requests into the NSA system. In this case, 16 authorized individuals requested unmaskings for [redacted] different NSA intelligence reports for select identified principals. While the principals are identified below, we cannot confirm they saw the unmasked information."
The document shows that eight unmasking requests were made on and after Dec. 29, 2016, the day when Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Flynn spoke on the phone where sanctions were discussed. These include one request from Power on Jan. 11, 2017, one from Clapper on Jan. 7, 2017, one from then-Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew on Jan. 12, 2017, one from McDonough on Jan. 5, 2017, one from then-Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration Michael Dempsey on Jan. 7, 2017, one from then-Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Stephanie L. O'Sullivan on Jan. 7, 2017, one request by an official from the CIA who has been redacted, on Jan. 10, 2017, and one from Biden on Jan. 12, 2017.
The list does not include requests made outside the specified time frame, the document states.
Grassley and Johnson called on the officials listed in the document to confirmed whether they had reviewed the information and provide other information about their request.
They also lauded Grenell and Barr for their transparency and responsiveness.
"Our investigation of these matters has been ongoing for years, and as information finally comes to light, our focus on these issues is even more important now. The records are one step forward in an important effort to get to the bottom of what the Obama administration did during the Russia investigation and to Lt. General Flynn. We will continue to review this information and push for additional relevant disclosures until we are satisfied that the American people know the full truth,” the senators wrote.
The release of the list comes as the DOJ dropped its criminal case against Flynn.
Flynn was accused of lying to investigators, claiming he didn’t discuss Russian sanctions during a call he had with Kislyak before Trump took office. It was revealed in intercepted transcripts from the Obama administration that Flynn did discuss sanctions.
In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying in the FBI interview about his call with Kislyak but afterward sought to withdraw that plea. Flynn’s lawyers argued that he had been entrapped by the FBI in the interview.
Recent documents pertaining to the Flynn case released by the DOJ included handwritten notes that revealed top officials in the agency had questioned whether the goal of questioning Flynn was to “get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”
“[T]he interview of Mr. Flynn was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn—a no longer justifiably predicated investigation that the FBI had, in the Bureau’s own words, prepared to close because it had yielded an ‘absence of any derogatory information,’” Shea wrote in the filing.