On February 8th, 2018, Senator Lindsey Graham first revealed an inauguration day email from Susan Rice to herself. That’s 585 days ago and yet we still don’t know what is behind the removed and classified paragraph. Why is this being kept hidden?
(L-R) Ruemmler, Obama, Monaco and Rice
At 12:15pm on January 20th, 2017, Obama’s outgoing National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote a memo-to-self. Many people have called this her “CYA” (cover your ass) memo, from the position that Susan Rice was protecting herself from consequences if the scheme against President Trump was discovered. Here’s the email:
On January 5, following a briefing by IC leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election, President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Corney and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present.
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“.
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.
From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he 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.
[Redacted Classified Section of Unknown length]
The President asked Corney to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Corney said he would.
Susan Rice ~ (pdf link)
This has the hallmarks of an Obama administration justification memo, written by an outgoing National Security Advisor Susan Rice to document why there have been multiple false and misleading statements given to incoming President Trump and his officials.
This is not a “CYA” memo per se’, this appears to be a justification memo for use AFTER the Trump-Russia collusion/conspiracy narrative collapsed; if the impeachment effort failed.
The “By The Book” aspect refers to President Obama and Susan Rice being told by CIA Director John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, that President Trump was the subject of an active counterintelligence investigation…. Yet, Rice denies ever knowing about Trump being under investigation.
So with that investigation concluded, why doesn’t Senator Lindsey Graham release the full email content, including the classified and redacted aspects which remain hidden?
Susan Rice responded to Senator Graham’s letter through her attorney Kathryn Ruemmler. Ms. Ruemmler is now the global co-chairman of the Latham & Watkins white collar criminal defense practice; she formerly served as White House Counsel to Obama.
Ruemmler’s letter stated there was nothing unusual about Rice’s email memorializing a White House meeting two weeks after the meeting occurred, January 5, 2017. Additionally, Ms. Rice’s lawyer said her client was completely unaware of the FBI investigation into President Trump at the time she made the draft on January 20th.
Ruemmler’s letter on behalf of Rice states:
The memorandum to file drafted by Ambassador Rice memorialized an important national security discussion between President Obama and the FBI Director and the Deputy Attorney General. President Obama and his national security team were justifiably concerned about potential risks to the Nation’s security from sharing highly classified information about Russia with certain members of the Trump transition team, particularly Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
In light of concerning communications between members of the Trump team and Russian officials, before and after the election, President Obama, on behalf of his national security team, appropriately sought the FBI and the Department of Justice’s guidance on this subject. In the conversation Ambassador Rice documented, there was no discussion of Christopher Steele or the Steele dossier, contrary to the suggestion in your letter.
Given the importance and sensitivity of the subject matter, and upon the advice of the White House Counsel’s Office, Ambassador Rice created a permanent record of the discussion. Ambassador Rice memorialized the discussion on January 20, because that was the first opportunity she had to do so, given the particularly intense responsibilities of the National Security Advisor during the remaining days of the Administration and transition.
Ambassador Rice memorialized the discussion in an email sent to herself during the morning of January 20, 2017. The time stamp reflected on the email is not accurate, as Ambassador Rice departed the White House shortly before noon on January 20.
While serving as National Security Advisor, Ambassador Rice was not briefed on the existence of any FBI investigation into allegations of collusion between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia, and she later learned of the fact of this investigation from Director Comey’s subsequent public testimony.
Ambassador Rice was not informed of any FISA applications sought by the FBI in its investigation, and she only learned of them from press reports after leaving office.
Everything about this Susan Rice email, including the explanations from her lawyer Kathryn H. Ruemmler, is sketchy and suspicious. The sketchy extends to Senator Graham’s lack of action to declassify the redacted paragraph.
Nothing about this is passing the sniff test…