Provided by USA Today: The investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election — and President Trump's counterattack against surveillance and leaking — has brought a new term into the American political lexicon. "Unmasking." Until now, the process for revealing information about U.S. citizens in intelligence reports was almost completely obscure outside of the intelligence community. But the issue has taken on new importance since House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes alleged that the Obama administration may have improperly identified Trump transition officials in classified reports he had access to — reports that later turned out to be provided to him by the Trump White House. Here's what we know about the hows and whys of unmasking:

Legal precedents that rebut the judge’s ruling in the Flynn case.

from The Wall Street Journal,

By inviting outside help, the Flynn jurist is acting ‘beyond the pale.’

Under federal rules, the judge has the latitude to appoint a special attorney to make arguments against the government’s motion.

The order raises the possibility that Mr. Flynn could be held in additional legal jeopardy for the two separate guilty pleas he entered before the court.

“If the judge finds the person in contempt, the judge has enormous discretion. If it were criminal contempt, it’s possible that the judge could send him to jail or impose a huge fine. The discretion is very open-ended,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.

In his zeal to convict Michael Flynn of something, federal Judge Emmet Sullivan is harming his own reputation. He’s also violating the law, as he’d know if he had read Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s opinion last week overturning the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

And ... another precedent that is even more on point about the judge’s wayward logic. The 2016 ruling in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals concerned another judge’s challenge to a prosecution and defense agreement. In U.S. v. Fokker Services, Judge Richard Leon refused to accept a deferred prosecution agreement between the Obama Justice Department and a Dutch aerospace services company. He thought it was too lenient. Unable to persuade the judge to budge, the parties filed a writ of mandamus for relief with the D.C. Circuit. The ruling by a three-judge panel wasn’t gentle in rebuking Judge Leon’s decision as contrary to law and constitutional understanding—and for reasons that bear directly on Judge Sullivan’s misguided attempt to supplant the executive power of prosecution with his own judicial authority.

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