Susan Rice has refused to testify, and President Trump is not so happy about it. The former national security adviser to President Obama, Susan Rice, officially turned down Senator Lindsey Graham’s invitation to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terror. The hearing was set to investigate Russia’s interference in last year’s election. President Trump criticized Rice on Twitter by writing: “Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor to President Obama, is refusing to testify before a Senate Subcommittee next week on allegations of unmasking Trump transition officials. Not good!”
Susan Rice is already a controversial figure because of the way she explained the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Most agree that it was terribly inaccurate, if not dishonest. Rice has also been accused of requesting the names of individuals associated with Trump’s campaign and the transition team that was referenced in intelligence reports. She has denied that she or anyone else in Obama’s administration used intelligence information for political purposes. “The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes,” Rice said. “That’s absolutely false.”
Susan Rice’s lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, responded to the invitation to testify in a letter to members of the subcommittee. Ruemmler wrote that the invitation was declined because it came only from a Republican and wasn’t endorsed by Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) as well. The letter, first reported by CNN, notes that Whitehouse “has informed us by letter that he did not agree to” the request, which Ruemmler calls “a significant departure from the bipartisan invitations extended to other witnesses.” Ruemmler continues in her letter, “Chairman Graham’s invitation was extended only after the hearing was noticed, less than two weeks before the hearing was scheduled to occur, and without consultation with Ambassador Rice, a professional courtesy that would customarily be extended to any witness.”
Senator Lindsey Graham has stated that he has not ruled out issuing a subpoena for Rice to testify. Graham said, “He will deal with her later.”
Whitehouse said on Wednesday that he believed Rice’s testimony would be a distraction from the real issues that the hearing was set to address. “We’ve got a specific focus for this hearing that both the former deputy attorney general and the former director of national intelligence can speak to,” he said. “She wasn’t one of the witnesses that we noticed the hearing for.”
So what do you think about Susan Rice’s refusal to testify? Is she right in declining, or is she trying to hide something?