On 14 February 2020, The New York Times reports that Barr has assigned an outside prosecutor to inspect the Flynn case.
Donald Trump Tweets on 15 March that he is considering a full pardon.
On 7 May, the DOJ drops the case against Flynn, as Barr makes a second critical intervention. Questions are raised about Barr’s intentions and loyalty to the president.
The Flynn case fuels a new theory among President Trump and his supporters: ‘Obamagate’.
In essence, the theory is that Obama used his remaining days in office to investigate the incoming administration, with a view to kneecap it. The Flynn and Stone cases are used as examples.
On 10 May, Trump Tweets that it is the “biggest political crime in American history, by far!”
Two days later, when asked by a Washington Post reporter to describe the crime, Trump replies: “You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody. All you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours.”
On 14 and 16 May 2020, the president Tweets simply “OBAMAGATE!”
The Trump administration declassifies an email, 19 May, that is touted as the ‘smoking gun’ - the crucial piece of evidence that incriminates Obama and proves he spied on the incoming administration.
The email, sent by Susan Rice, former national security advisor to Barack Obama, was addressed to herself, and seemed to serve as a way of memorialising a 5 January 2017 Oval Office meeting between Obama, Comey, Biden and Rice, among others.
In the email, Rice writes: “The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”
Despite the contents of the email contradicting the theory, ‘Obamagate’ continues to spread.