As reported by CNN, first, Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s longtime national security adviser refused to testify for Russian activities during the 2016 election campaign before a Senate subcommittee.
Kathryn Ruemmler, Rice’s attorney, said that her client opted not to appear because Whitehouse had said he did not agree with Graham that Rice should testify.
Graham’s unilateral invitation was called “a significant departure from the bipartisan invitations extended to other witnesses.”
Rice’s appearance would mean “unmasking” American citizens caught up in conversations with foreign targets of surveillance by the intelligence community.The most prominent figure to be “unmasked” was Trump’s retired national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Ever since President Donald Trump said she may have committed a crime when she asked intelligence analysts to disclose the name of a Trump associate mentioned in an intelligence report,Rice became a central part of the Russian investigation although she has said she did nothing improper.
Rice’s refusal disappointed the Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa who said “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.”
Monday’s hearing is scheduled to include testimony from former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Whose testimony is much-anticipated, as they were both scheduled to speak before the House intelligence committee in March. But that hearing was cancelled, it is believed that the White House wanted to limit what Yates could say. The House intelligence committee has yet to reschedule the public hearing.
Senators expect Yates to give senators details about her Jan. 26 conversation with the White House counsel about Flynn, to say that she saw discrepancies between the administration’s public statements about Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. and what really transpired, a person familiar with that discussion and knowledge of Yates’ upcoming testimony told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity ahead the hearing.
The source says , Yates should say that she told White House counsel Don McGahn that she was concerned Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador could leave Flynn in a compromised position as a result of the contradictions between the public depictions of the calls and what intelligence officials knew to be true.As said by the White House, because of misleading the vice president on the content of Flynn’s discussions with the ambassador, Flynn was later fired.