The attorney for former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn says a senior Pentagon official “is believed to be” the person who leaked the Flynn-Sergey Kislyak phone call transcripts to The Washington Post.
A January 2017 column by Post columnist David Ignatius was a watershed moment in what would be a long FBI investigation into associates of President Trump and any ties to Moscow. Conservatives see it as one of the first blows from an anti-Trump “Deep State” of Obama-Clinton loyalists.
Mr. Ignatius reported on intercepted phone calls between Flynn, the national security adviser in waiting, and Mr. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador.
Such transcripts are intelligence crown jewels. It is a felony to leak them. Plus, Mr. Kislyak now knew exactly when the U.S. eavesdropped.
The column sparked news stories in The Post and New York Times. Flynn subsequently resigned. He had told superiors he had not discussed sanctions with the Russian when he had. He ended up pleading guilty to lying to two FBI agents.
His new attorney, Sidney Powell, is waging a legal fight in U.S. District Court to have the judge dismiss the case due to prosecutor misconduct.
In a new U.S. District Court filing, Ms. Powell said she has requested the records of FBI spy Stefan Halper’s work for the Pentagon Office of Net Assessment (ONA) and director James Baker. Mr. Halper, a Washington and British-based scholar, did studies for Mr. Baker. He spied on several Trump campaign aides.
“ONA Director Baker regular lunched with Washington Post Reporter David Ignatius,” Ms. Powell writes. “Baker is believed to be the person who illegally leaked the transcript of Mr. Flynn’s calls to Ignatius.”
A source told The Washington Times that Mr. Baker and the journalist had regular contact.
The Times sent Ms. Powell’s court filing to Pentagon public affairs officials. A spokesperson declined to comment, citing the pending Flynn case.
Ms. Powell also says that Mr. Obama’s top intelligence official, James Clapper, told Mr. Ignatius on Jan. 10 to “take the kill shot on Flynn.”
A spokesman for Mr. Clapper told The Times that the Powell assertion is “absolutely false. It never happened.”
“Jim Clapper never said any such thing. In fact, he had no conversations with Ignatius at all on Jan. 10.”
Ms. Powell said the prosecution has refused to hand over the Kislyak transcript.
• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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