Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's former national security adviser, on Wednesday declined Senator Lindsey Graham's request to participate in a judiciary subcommittee hearing next week on Russian interference in the US election.
A letter obtained by CNN from Rice's lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler of Latham Watkins, outlines the grounds for her decision not to appear which includes, among other things, a lack of sufficient notice and a lack of bipartisan support for her presence at the committee's hearing.
"Moreover, Chairman Graham's invitation was extended only after the hearing was noticed, less than two weeks before the hearing was scheduled to occur, and without consultation with Ambassador Rice, a professional courtesy that would customarily be extended to any witness. Notwithstanding the significance of these concerns, Ambassador Rice is prepared to assist Congressional inquiries into Russian election interference because of the important national interests at stake, provided they are conducted in a bipartisan manner, and as appropriate, in a classified session."
"In this case, however, Senator Whitehouse has informed us by letter that he did not agree to Chairman Graham's invitation to Ambassador Rice, a significant departure from the bipartisan invitations extended to other witnesses. Under these circumstances, Ambassador Rice respectfully declines Senator Graham's invitation to testify."
Sure, Susan, you're not willing to testify because of a breach of protocol on the part of Lindsey Graham and because a member of the Democratic party, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, is inexplicably obstructing you from providing critical evidence which may support your claims that Russia intentionally interfered in an election process that cost your own party the White House. That makes a ton of sense....almost as much as that time you did a Sunday morning media tour telling the country that the Benghazi attack was related to a youtube video all so that Obama could get re-elected just two months later.
And while we would hate to be labelled as overly cynical, we do wonder whether your decision was, in some small way, influenced by a desire to avoid answering questions about the recent discovery that you were the official responsible for the 'unmasking' of various incoming Trump officials who were 'incidentally' surveilled during the 2016 campaign...a fact that was apparently only discovered after the White House Counsel's office reviewed your document log requests.
Hmmm, that's a tough one...
Full letter for your reading pleasure: