The US attorney who was heading up the investigation into the “unmasking” of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned from the Justice Department on Monday.
“This morning I submitted my resignation to the President and the Attorney General, effective Friday,” John Bash, the US attorney for the Western District of Texas, tweeted Monday. “Last month I accepted a position in the private sector.”
He said he was “grateful” to President Trump and GOP Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas for the “opportunity to serve the people of Texas.”
Attorney General William Barr, who tapped Bash in May to head up the investigation, appointed Gregg Sofer, a veteran Justice Department attorney, to replace him.
Bash called it an “inspired choice.”
His examination of the “unmasking” of Flynn is on top of the probe led by US Attorney John Durham of Connecticut into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation, which began during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Flynn’s name was revealed after conversations between him and former Russian ambassador Sergey Kysliak were monitored during the final weeks of the Obama administration.
At the time, Flynn was Trump’s incoming national security adviser.
Citizens picked up during the eavesdropping of foreign officials are typically protected and a process is in place to reveal the person’s identity if the intelligence community believes it is necessary to understand the information or the person is suspected of being an agent of a foreign power.
Republicans claim the intelligence community unmasked Flynn to embarrass the incoming Trump administration.
The investigation is looking into the involvement of former Vice President Joe Biden, then-FBI Director James Comey, former CIA director John Brennan and a number of others.
Flynn, a retired Army general who served less than a month as national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI.
He later changed his plea and the Justice Department moved to drop the charges.
That is being reviewed by a retired federal judge after a federal appeals court ruled against dismissing the charges.
It’s unclear if Sofer will take up Bash’s investigation into the unmasking.