Following the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump, Democrats began pushing the debunked conspiracy theory that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere with the election.
President Obama looked into the issue with FBI Director James Comey, although with only a short amount of time before Trump was scheduled to take office, there was very little the outgoing president and his security staff could do.
However, during a January 2017 meeting, the now former FBI Director James Comey told then-President Barack Obama to not pass off sensitive information regarding Russia to the incoming National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn. This information has just now come to light thanks to a declassified email Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor oddly sent to herself.
In the email, which sent on Trump’s inauguration day of January 20, 2017, Susan Rice wrote that the Obama Administration discussed how to investigate what, if any, Russian interference took place during the 2016 presidential campaign. Rice wrote that FBI Director James Comey told President Obama that he should “potentially” not pass sensitive information about Russia to General Michael Flynn, President-elect Trump’s incoming National Security Adviser.
A representative for Susan Rice stated she did not alter the way she briefed General Michael Flynn on any topic, including Russia, during the transition period. However, Republicans and other high-ranking officials have pointed to this email as proof that the Obama administration withheld important documents and information from the incoming Trump administration.
The email, in connection with several other recently declassified documents, implicates not only former President Obama, but also current Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, with attempting to cover up information regarding the Russia conspiracy theory investigation. These new revelations have caused current president Donald Trump to call the situation “…the greatest political crime in the history of our country.”
President Trump, calling the situation “Obamagate”, requested Republican Senator Graham of South Carolina to order Barack Obama to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Graham declined to do so, as he thought the visual implications of bringing a former president in to testify would end up being more of a spectacle and wouldn’t lead to any further information.
Furthermore, current Attorney General William Barr said he did not expect the DOJ’s current investigation into the start of the Russian probe to lead to any kind of criminal charges for either Joe Biden or former President Obama. In his documentation, the Attorney General said that not every abuse of power, regardless of how outrageous it is, can necessarily be considered a criminal act.
It appears at least for the time being, the former administration will avoid prosecution.