A newly declassified email that General Michael Flynn’s predecessor sent her self on Inauguration Day shows James Comey, the former FBI Director, suggested to President Obama in January 2017, that the National Security Council [NSC] might not want to pass “sensitive information related to Russia” to then-incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, according to Fox News.
The note from Susan Rice was declassified by Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell and transmitted to the Justice Department.
Fox News was able to obtain a copy from GOP Senator Ron Johnson’s office.
In the email Rice sent herself on January 20, 2017, documented a meeting held on January 5 in the oval office.
The meeting with Obama and others provided guidance on how law enforcement needed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.
The section showed that Comey affirmed to Obama he was proceeding “by the book,” and went on to discuss concerns about Flynn’s known conversations with Russia’s ambassador at the time.
That conservation was pertinent to the criminal case against Flynn.
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Rice continued: “From a national security perspective, Comey said he does have some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador [Sergey] Kislyak. Comey said that could be an issue as it relates to sharing sensitive information. President Obama asked if Comey was saying that the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn.”
Rice then wrote, “Comey replied, ‘potentially.’ He added that he has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak, but he noted that ‘the level of communication is unusual.'”
A representative for Rice stressed that “no discussion of law enforcement matters or investigations took place, despite accusations to the contrary.”
“Ambassador Rice did not alter the way she briefed Michael Flynn on Russia as a result of Director Comey’s response,” Rice representative Erin Pelton said.
— Erin Pelton (@erin_pelton) May 19, 2020
“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book,'” Rice emailed to herself. “The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”
Rice wrote that Obama said, “he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.”
This was where the original version of the email was redacted — containing information about Comey’s response.
After that section, Rice wrote: “The president asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Comey said he would.”
More from Fox News:
The attention on Obama administration discussions at the time has fueled a fiery war of words in Washington over the origins of the Russia case — with President Trump describing it as “the greatest political crime in the history of our country.”
The president even called on Graham to call Obama to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Graham balked, voicing concerns about the implications of such a spectacle.
Then on Monday, Attorney General Bill Barr weighed in, saying he did not expect U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review into the origins of the Russia probe to lead to a “criminal investigation” of either Obama or Biden.
Barr stressed that “Not every abuse of power, no matter how outrageous, is necessarily a federal crime.”
“As for President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement based on what I know, I don’t expect Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” Barr said. “Our concern of potential criminality is focused on others.”