As more controversy sweeps through Washington, lawmakers are calling on former national security adviser Susan Rice to explain the particulars of an “unusual email” she wrote the day of Donald Trump’s Inauguration as president.
According to The Washington Examiner, Sens. Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham are calling on Rice to explain why her email insisted former President Barack Obama wanted the Trump-Russia investigation done “by the book.”
On January 20, 2017, Rice had emailed herself concerning a briefing that had taken place earlier that month with members of the intelligence community regarding the allegation of Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential election.
Besides Rice, that meeting also included Obama, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and former Vice President Joe Biden.
“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book,'” Rice wrote.
“The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective,” she added.
By the end of the email which detailed the Oval office meeting, Rice insisted that from such a “national security perspective,” Obama wanted “to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.”
And now Grassley and Graham are demanding answers on a variety of questions regarding the email which they state is unusual and requires further explanation, outlining their concern in a letter to Rice.
The request from the senators includes questioning why Rice sent the email in the first place and if it in any way pertains to her being involved in the Trump-Russia dossier, Fox News reported.
The pair also asked the former advisor when exactly she became aware of the FBI’s investigation into collusion allegations among the Trump campaign, as most reports to the investigation beginning sometime in July of 2016.
“The President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team,” Rice wrote in her email. “Comey said he would.”
The senators also asked Rice whether Comey and Yates discussed the dossier and any relationship between its author, Christopher Steele, and the FBI.
“Did President Obama have any other meetings with Mr. Comey, Ms. Yates, or other government officials about the FBI’ s investigation of allegations of collusion between Trump associates and Russia?” the senators asked in their letter.
Accompanying the letter, the senators admitted in a statement that, as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee, it is part of their “continued efforts to conduct oversight” of the FBI and the Department of Justice.
“It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation,” they wrote.
The senators have asked Rice to respond by Feb. 22.
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