Grassley: Susan Rice Refusing to Testify on Russia Makes Her Look Like She's Hiding Something

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: May 04, 2017 9:15 AM
Grassley: Susan Rice Refusing to Testify on Russia Makes Her Look Like She's Hiding Something

Yesterday former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, the Obama administration official at the center of unmasking Trump campaign officials, announced she will not testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about her actions or Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. She was invited to do so by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and argues she was given little notice to prepare. Further, her attorney says the invitation was partisan and therefore has been declined.

"Ambassador Rice is prepared to assist Congressional inquiries into Russian election interference because of the important national interests at stake, provided they are conducted in a bipartisan manner, and as appropriate, in classified session," Rice's attorney Kathryn Ruemmler wrote in a letter.

"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. Again, and as Ambassador Rice has stated publicly, she supports and is committed to assisting the bipartisan Congressional inquiries into Russian interference in the 2016 election, given the utmost importance of this matter to our national security," the letter continues.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley isn't pleased with Rice's decision. 

“I am deeply disappointed that Ambassador Rice has declined to participate in this hearing. She is uniquely positioned to help us better understand the issues that will be discussed Monday. Her choice stands in stark contrast to other former high-ranking national security officials like former Director Clapper and former Deputy Attorney General Yates.  Senator Graham and Senator Whitehouse have taken great care to conduct a meaningful and productive hearing," Grassley released in a statement Wednesday night. "Declining to attend because you didn't get an invite from a member of your party is a poor excuse and makes it appear as though she’s hiding something.  No investigation will be complete until her role is understood.  I agree with Ranking Member Feinstein that Rice should reconsider.”

The Committee will hold a full hearing next week about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is expected to testify.