News & Politics

Susan Rice Will Not Appear Before House Intelligence Panel on Tuesday

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

The House Intelligence Committee has postponed the date of Susan Rice’s testimony. Rice was scheduled to appear at a closed-door session on Tuesday.

The Republican-led House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was expected to question President Barack Obama’s national security adviser on allegations she “unmasked” Trump campaign officials who were incidentally caught up in Russian surveillance probes.

Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., told Fox News Business host Lou Dobbs that the committee should subpoena Rice. “Make her appear before the committee,” he said.

“What if she says no?” Dobbs asked.

Congress could “send law enforcement after her, take her to the Capitol and make her testify,” Hoekstra replied.

According to Fox News, Rice is still expected to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee as early as this week.

Meanwhile, according to Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, a source with knowledge of the House investigation has revealed that “the records suggest that the unmasking goes beyond key officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.”

The source said more than a half-dozen former senior Obama administration officials are now of interest to House committee investigators.

Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., issued subpoenas in May to the CIA, FBI and NSA for records about the identification of American citizens in intelligence reports, also known as “unmasking.”

The subpoenas covered 2016 and were issued after allegations Rice and others unmasked associates of now-President Trump. Fox News is told the agencies have now “fully complied.”

While Nunes has taken himself out of the committee’s Russia inquiry following an ethics complaint which he has denied, the chairman remains involved in the unmasking inquiry. Committee Democrats have criticized Nunes for issuing subpoenas in his current capacity.

[…]

The source said some of the unmasking in question could be routine – though other requests appeared “unwarranted” and will require “more explanation.” The source said House investigators are only at the beginning of their assessment and described the paper trail as containing “a significant number of records.”

The congressional scrutiny at this stage does not mean investigators have concluded any official violated the law or internal regulations.

Fox News contributor and attorney Gregg Jarrett joined Dobbs on Monday to discuss why Susan Rice backed out of her congressional testimony.

“This tells me that lawyers have gotten involved,” Jarrett said. “Lawyers have probably told her to clam up and wait for a subpoena. When you get a subpoena, it’s time to play ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ without Monty Hall because she is in legal jeopardy.”

Jarrett said there are a least three potential crimes Rice may have committed pertaining to the unmasking activities she may have participated in.

“It’s a crime to lie in your request to unmask,” he said. “There’s only one reason you can cite — it’s national security. If the document on its face shows no national security concerns, then you’ve lied. It’s also a crime to use your public office — her office — for a corrupt purpose, and that would be to lie. And a third crime is — as we all know — it’s a crime to unmask and leak a name to the media, like Michael Flynn.”

“At least one crime was committed here and likely many more,” he said.

Jarrett referenced Catherine Herridge’s report that indicated more than six additional individuals besides Rice, Power, and Brennan had been involved in the unmasking of Americans caught up in incidental surveillance.

“This many people?” Jarrett exclaimed. “It does make you wonder, is it true that the Obama administration, in the last year in office, was undertaking a concerted effort to hurt the Donald Trump campaign and then the presidency of Donald Trump?”

“I would imagine that once they determine who did it here, they’re going to be indicted,” said Jarrett. “Now, is it going to be a member of the administration? It would have to be because they’re the only ones who had access, top administration officials, to the intelligence community that actually does the collection.”

Update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Rice had backed out of the hearing.