Susan Rice Email – Did the Obama Administration Try to Hide Classified Information from Trump?
A declassified email that Susan Rice, former National Security Adviser, sent to herself minutes after Trump took office appears to show that the Obama administration may have sought to hide classified information from the incoming Trump administration.
Democrats are claiming that the email is innocuous and does not say what the GOP seems to think it does. The meeting described in the email took place on January 5, 2017 between the “intelligence ” community, President Obama, Susan Rice, and FBI Director James Comey.
According to Rice, President Obama and Comey had a “follow-on conversation” after the formal meeting during which Obama told Comey that “from a national security perspective” he 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.” President Obama then asked Comey to inform him of any changes that would affect how his White House should share classified information with the incoming Trump administration.
The email came to light last week, and Senators Charles Grassley, and Senator Lindsey Graham of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Susan Rice on Feb 8, demanding answers to these questions:
1. Did you send the email attached to this letter to yourself? Do you have any reason to dispute the timestamp of the email?
2. When did you first become aware of the FBI’s investigation into allegations of collusion between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia?
3. When did you become aware of any surveillance activities, including FISA applications, undertaken by the FBI in conducting that investigation? At the time you wrote this email to yourself, were you aware of either the October 2016 FISA application for surveillance of Carter Page or the January 2017 renewal?
4. Did anyone instruct, request, suggest, or imply that you should send yourself the aforementioned Inauguration Day email memorializing President Obama’s meeting with Mr. Comey about the Trump/Russia investigation? If so, who and why?
5. Is the account of the January 5, 2017 meeting presented in your email accurate? Did you omit any other portions of the conversation?
6. Other than that email, did you document the January 5, 2017 meeting in any way, such as contemporaneous notes or a formal memo? To the best of your knowledge, did anyone else at that meeting take notes or otherwise memorialize the meeting?
7. During the meeting, did Mr. Comey or Ms. Yates mention potential press coverage of the Steele dossier? If so, what did they say?
8. During the meeting, did Mr. Comey describe the status of the FBI’s relationship with Mr. Steele, or the basis for that status?
9. When and how did you first become aware of the allegations made by Christopher Steele?
10. When and how did you first become aware that the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded Mr. Steele’s efforts?
11. You wrote that President Obama stressed that he was “not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective.” Did President Obama ask about, initiate, or instruct anything from any other perspective relating to the FBI’s investigation?
12. 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? If so, when did these occur, who participated, and what was discussed?
The letter also stated:
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. In addition, despite your claim that President Obama repeatedly told Mr. Comey to proceed “by the book,” substantial questions have arisen about whether officials at the FBI, as well as at the Justice Department and the State Department, actually did proceed “by the book.”
Our question is…whose “book” are they referring to? Because it appears from recent revelations that the entire Justice Department and FBI went out of their way to find dirt on President Trump, even after he took office. Rice admitted she was the one who committed the unmasking of the Trump team.
Is the email an innocuous nothing or another smoking gun?