Former top Obama adviser declines to testify in Senate Russia hearing

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice has declined an invitation extended by South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham to testify in front of a Senate subcommittee investigating alleged efforts by Russia to hack into the November 2016 presidential election.

Interviewed by CNN Tuesday, Graham said he sought Rice’s testimony to shed light on whether Rice worked to expose the identities of U.S. citizens incidentally captured during surveillance operations conducted by American intelligence services.

Graham chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on crime and terrorism, which is directing the hearings.

“I have seen press reports — I don’t know how accurate they are — that she (Rice) was involved in the unmasking of an American citizen who was incidentally surveilled.”

“I believe Russia tried to interfere in our election.  Did the Obama administration try to politicize intel? I don’t know. I’d like to get the answer to both,” Graham told CNN Tuesday.

Citing the demand for a classified session and a request from the top Democrat on the subcommittee, a letter from Rice attorney Kathryn Ruemmler to Graham read:

“In this case, however, Senator Whitehouse has informed us by letter that he did not agree to Chairman Graham’s invitation to Ambassador Rice, a significant departure from the bipartisan invitations extended to other witnesses. Under these circumstances, Ambassador Rice respectfully declines Senator Graham’s invitation to testify.”

Despite Rice’s reluctance to testify, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who Friday said in an interview with CNN she saw no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, said Rice should “reconsider” her decision not to appear in front of the Senate committee.

“I think she ought to consider it.  She has gone public. I saw her on Fareed’s show Sunday. I saw her today,” Feinstein said on MSNBC.

Upon hearing of Rice refusing the invitation to appear as a witness, President Trump responded in typical fashion:  Taking to Twitter, the president blasted Rice for her alleged role in exposing a Trump official during routine intelligence gathering.

 

[Independent Journal Review] [The Hill] [Breitbart] [Photo courtesy KBZK.com]