Former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice had said in recent interviews that she welcomed the declassification of her January, 2017 ’email to self’ regarding the Oval Office meeting she, along with top Obama Administration officials, attended with President Obama, during the last days of his presidency.
She, however, should be concerned about the email. Numerous Republican congressional officials contend that the email she sent to herself on Jan. 20, 2017 on the last day of the Obama Administration reveals the extent of Obama’s involvement in the FBI’s unscrupulous Russia investigation into President Trump’s campaign and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Since 2018, GOP Senators have been waiting for the DNI or DOJ declassify and release Rice’s ’email to self.” On Tuesday, acting Director of National Intelligence Rick Grenell declassified the email and turned it over to the Department of Justice for a full review before it could be released to the public.
Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who originally discovered the email and Ron Johnson, R-Wisconson, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., fought for the declassification of the email since 2018. Grassley and Graham had sent a joint letter to Rice in February, 2018 after discovering the email, and the response from her lawyer alluded to national security concerns among senior Obama officials who attended the meeting at the Oval Office. Those who attended the classified meeting were Rice, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, then CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Rice’s lawyer specifically noted that there was no discussion of former British Spy Christopher Steele, whose debunked dossier was also used by the FBI in its shoddy investigation of the Trump campaign.
Johnson said the decision to renew the call for the release of the mail several years after the original request was based in part on the Justice Department’s decision to issue a motion to dismiss all criminal charges against Flynn.
“The Senate has maintained a copy of the fully-unredacted email but was unable to share it publicly until it underwent a declassification review, which was completed today,” Johnson and Grassley’s press release Tuesday stated. Both Senators have long pointed out that Obama’s role in the investigation into Trump and Flynn was more than just ancillary.
For example in Rice’s email she noted that “From a national security perspective, 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 we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.” More importantly, it was during that same time frame she sent the email to herself on Jan. 20, 2017 that the Obama Administration’s FBI and its senior administration officials had already been fully immersed into spying against the Trump campaign.
The evidence of these operations have been disclosed in thousands of documents discovered by years of congressional investigations and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigations.
Those investigations revealed that Flynn’s name was illegally unmasked more than likely by a senior official in the Obama Administration.
Further, it is now public that the contents of Flynn’s highly classified conversation with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was leaked to David Ignatius, a top columnist with the Washington Post, who was known to have top connections to senior officials in the Obama Administration. Those leaks were done to tarnish Flynn’s name and create a disinformation campaign against him because they came after FBI officials had already decided to drop the case against him for lack of evidence that he had committed any crime.
Further, during that same time period the FBI officials had obtained a FISA warrant and subsequent renewals from the secret court to spy on short term campaign volunteer Carter Page. The public is now aware through extensive release of classified documents that the FBI agents involved in the investigation and the bureau lawyers lied to the FISC court and omitted information from the warrant that would’ve changed the courts decision to spy on Page.
Rice’s email is not explosive but it is a rare insiders look at the magnitude of the Obama administrations actions against the Trump campaign.
More interestingly, the reader needs to take into account why Rice would ever send this email to herself. Is it a cover your ass email. I would say yes.
For example, in one email Rice reveals what former FBI Director James Comey discussed with President Obama and the other senior officials about the investigation into Flynn.
Rice states in her email that “Comey said he does have some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak,” Rice wrote in a portion of the email that was only recently declassified.
Comey made these comments a day after FBI agents had submitted a memo to drop the investigation of Flynn because they found no derogatory information against him during the course of their investigation. You wouldn’t know it from reading Rice’s email about the January 5th, 2017 meeting at the Oval Office.
Comey apparently stated his concern and why the Trump administration should be kept out of the loop regarding Flynn.
Rice said Comey told Obama and the group that Flynn’s situation “could be an issue as it relates to sharing sensitive information” with the incoming administration.
“President Obama asked if Comey was saying the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn,” said Rice. “Comey replied ‘potentially.’”
“[Comey] added that he has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak, but he noted that ‘the level of communication is unusual,” he said.
A number of lawmakers and intelligence officials interviewed by this reporter suggest that the newly declassified information reveals the magnitude of the Obama administration and the FBI’s investigation to tarnish the Trump campaign and then later the administration.
“It’s evident they would stop at nothing to take down Flynn and President Trump,” stated a former senior intelligence official, familiar with the investigation. “This email from Rice to herself is nothing more than a way of ensuring that there was some documentation of the meeting, a CYA, because it appears to be an attempt by one U.S. president to take down another.”