Barr asks federal attorney from Texas to lead review of 'unmasking' in FBI's Russia collusion probe

Barr names John Bash, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, to look into the issue, following release of Flynn-related docs.

Updated: May 28, 2020 - 2:18pm

Attorney General William Barr has asked John Bash, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, to review the practice of “unmasking” during the 2016 presidential election.

The probe was announced Wednesday night by Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec on Fox News.

Barr has asked Bash to focus on the unmasking, amid U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut John Durham’s larger review of the federal government’s Russia collusion investigation.

"Unmasking" is a term used by the U.S. intelligence community to refer to revealing the identity of U.S. citizens whose communications are being monitored.

That practice came to light during the recent release of declassified information that showed several Obama administration officials sought to learn the identity of Michael Flynn, a member of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Trump's first National Security Adviser, whose communications were monitored during the Russia collusion probe.

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI in connection to the probe. But revelations about the probe in the recently released documents have resulted in the Justice Department asking a federal court to drop the Flynn case.