Susan Rice Will Reportedly Testify Behind Closed Doors About Unmasking
Susan Rice has reportedly agreed to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, albeit in private, as part of the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the election.
According to CNN, Rice will attend the closed session sometime before Congress’ August recess.
Rice is of interest to Republicans on the committee because of her alleged role in unmasking the identities of Trump transition officials picked up in surveillance conducted by U.S. intelligence agencies.
In April, Bloomberg’s Eli Lake reported that White House lawyers had discovered that Rice made dozens of requests for the names of Trump transition and campaign figures that were redacted in raw intelligence reports.
Rice’s alleged involvement in “unmasking” the names of Trump officials fueled theories that the Obama administration spied on the Republican.
In raw intelligence reports, the names of U.S. citizens picked up during routine surveillance of foreign targets are redacted. But U.S. officials at the highest levels of the government have the authority to “unmask,” or reveal, the names of those U.S. citizens.
It is unclear whose names Rice may have unmasked, but she has denied any wrongdoing. The core issue, she has claimed, is whether the names were unmasked for political reasons and whether they were leaked to the press. She has denied doing either.
“The allegation is that somehow the Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes. That’s absolutely false,” she told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell in April.
In May, Rice rejected an invitation from South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham to testify before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee. Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat, reportedly objected to Rice testifying.
“Ambassador Rice is cooperating with bipartisan Russia investigations conducted by the Intelligence Committees as she said she would,” Erin Pelton, a spokesperson for Rice, told CNN.
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