Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham have unearthed what they’re calling an “unusual email” that former national security adviser Susan Rice sent to herself on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017. Grassley and Graham have given Rice until February 22 to answer their questions about the odd self-communication, which raises additional questions about how the Obama administration was handling the Russia investigation.
The email was sent by Rice on January 20, 2017, but it appears to reference a meeting that took place on January 5. At that meeting, Rice, Obama, James Comey, Joe Biden, and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates were in attendance. The subject of the meeting: How law enforcement should handle the Russia investigation moving forward.
“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book,’” Rice wrote. “The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”
Rice went on to say that President Obama “wants 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.”
In their letter to Rice, Graham and Grassley said the email had raised some disturbing questions.
“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,” they wrote. “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.’”
This story gets weirder with every passing day. Here we have the former national security adviser, in her own words, admitting that the Obama administration was thinking of hiding certain aspects of Russian intelligence from the incoming Trump transition team. Because…what? Why? Because Trump read the WikiLeaks emails with great interest at his rallies? Because he said he would probably get along with Putin? Because of that absurd dossier? What justified this level of alarm on the part of the former president and the former FBI director? What, other than the very blatant fact that they got utterly hosed by Russian disinformation because they really, really wanted to believe that Trump cheated to win the election?
Why this specific email? Did she want it to be discovered? Is that why she emphasized how Obama wanted the investigation done “by the book?”
It’s all very curious. We can’t wait for Rice to cough up some answers.