Obama’s former national security adviser Susan Rice’s actions have come under renewed scrutiny, as Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee seek answers to the reasoning being an email message Rice sent to herself.
The message, sent on Jan 20, 2017 , the day of President Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, was in reference to a conversation between former president Barack Obama and fired former FBI director James Comey, in which Obama directed Comey as to how he should handle the Russia investigation.
According to a report in The Hill: Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) questioned Rice why she sent a note detailing a conversation she observed on Jan. 5 between then-FBI Director James Comey and then-President Barack Obama.
“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 a letter to Rice.
They said that in the message, Rice noted how Obama repeatedly emphasized during the meeting on Russian election hacking with Comey that he wants every aspect of the issue handled “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,” Rice wrote, according to an excerpt included in the senators’ letter.
Grassley and Graham said despite her repeated mention of Obama stressing the need for a proper investigation, “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.'”
They asked Rice to address roughly a dozen questions related to her note and what she knew at the time about the Russia investigation, like whether she has “any reason to dispute the timestamp of the email” as well as other surrounding circumstances of her note.