In the final days of the Obama administration, someone leaked a key nugget of information to The Washington Post about Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump’s national security adviser.
Then, since and today, Trump and Republicans have argued that was an abuse of power and a breach of the law, one that, in their view, needlessly cost Flynn his reputation, his liberty and a fortune in legal fees.
That’s why, three very long years later, Trump and his supporters sought payback with evidence from that era they hope will cause political problems for a man who was in the thick of it — former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s likely opponent in the general election this year.
Biden’s camp calls the discussion about him and Flynn a distraction, meant to take the public’s eyes off what Democrats call Trump’s failure to manage a pandemic that has taken nearly 85,000 lives and put the most Americans out of work since the Great Depression.
But the story is complicated, and the complexity starts with the underlying practice at issue in the Flynn saga: “unmasking.”