During testimony in front the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday afternoon, Attorney General Bill Barr reconfirmed U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas John Bash has been appointed to investigate a series of Obama era unmaskings, specifically during the 2016 presidential transition period and beyond, for potential wrongdoing. The news of a separate investigation into unmasking, led by Bash and outside of the Durham probe, came to light in May.
"I've asked another U.S. Attorney to look into the issue of unmasking because of the high number of unmasking and some that do not readily appear to be in the line of normal business," Barr said.
BREAKING: Attorney General Barr tells House Judiciary Committee he has tapped John Bash, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, to investigate unmaskings by Obama-era officials that don't "readily appear" to have been conducted in "the normal line of business."— James Rosen (@JamesRosenTV) July 28, 2020
BREAKING: Attorney General Barr tells House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member @Jim_Jordan that there is a SEPARATE investigation at the Department of Justice to look into the issue of 'unmasking' at the DOJ in recent years. pic.twitter.com/Zou8roxAOl— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) July 28, 2020
It is not illegal to unmask an American citizen if an official has the proper security clearance. It is illegal to do it for political reasons.
Between November 2016 and January 20, 2017 General Michael Flynn, who went on to become President Trump's White House National Security Advisor, was unmasked by Obama administration officials dozens of times. Those doing the unmasking included Vice President Joe Biden, former CIA Director John Brennan, then FBI Director James Comey and others.