Thursday, May 04, 2017

Susan Rice Protected From Having to Answer for Politicizing SigInt Against Trump


CNN |  Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's former national security adviser, on Wednesday declined Sen. Lindsey Graham's request to participate in a judiciary subcommittee hearing next week on Russian interference in the US election, CNN has learned. 

A letter obtained exclusively by CNN from Rice's lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, outlines the grounds for her decision not to appear. It was addressed to Graham, the Republican chairman of the judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism, which is holding the hearing, and senior Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse.
 
"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," Ruemmler wrote. "Under these circumstances, Ambassador Rice respectfully declines Senator Graham's invitation to testify."
 
A source familiar with Rice's discussions told CNN that when Graham invited her, Rice believed it was a bipartisan overture and was prepared to accept. However, Whitehouse indicated to her that the invitation was made without his agreement, as he believed her presence was not relevant to the topic of the hearing, according to the source.
 
Rice considered the invitation a "diversionary play" to distract attention from the investigation into Russian election interference, including contacts between Trump allies and Russians during the campaign, the source said.
 
Whitehouse told CNN that "with the exception of that invitation, Senator Graham and I have agreed on all witnesses that have been invited to this hearing."