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Tags: ronjohnson | email | declassified | susanrice | flynn

GOP Sen. Ron Johnson Demands Susan Rice Letter Declassified

sen ron johnson speaks in ukraine
 Senator Ron Johnson speaks during a brief news conference after their meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kiev, Ukraine. (Stringer / Sputnik via AP

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2020 07:41 PM EDT

The infamous "by the book" email Obama administration official Susan Rice sent herself in her final moments on the job is now being sought to be fully declassified by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

Johnson made the request of Attorney General William Barr in a letter obtained by Politico.

"I understand your office is currently reviewing a Jan. 20, 2017, email from former National Security Adviser Susan Rice," Johnson wrote. "In that email, Amb. Rice summarized an Oval Office meeting with President Obama and other administration officials that occurred on Jan. 5, 2017. A majority of Amb. Rice's email was declassified but a portion of the email remains classified.

"The significance of that meeting is becoming increasingly apparent as more and more information is declassified," Johnson added. "For these reasons, it is essential that Congress and the American people understand what occurred during that Jan. 5, 2017, meeting and how it was later characterized by administration officials. The declassification of Amb. Rice's email, in whole, will assist these efforts."

The already declassified portion of Rice's email detailed who was in the Oval Office meeting with former President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Rice.

"On Jan. 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 Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office," Rice's declassified lines of the email read, per Politico. "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," she continued.

"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."

It has been revealed through declassified House Intelligence Committee investigation testimony from Rice, the origins of her skepticism of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn revolved around his concerns of China and having diminished the threat of Russia as "a declining power."

"We spent a lot more time talking about China in part because General Flynn's focus was on China as our principal overarching adversary," Rice said in her Sept. 8, 2017 testimony. "He had many questions and concerns about China.

"And when I elicited – sought to elicit his perspective on Russia, he was quite – I started to say dismissive, but that may be an overstatement. He downplayed his assessment of Russia as a threat to the United States. He called it overblown. He said they're a declining power, they're demographically challenged, they're not really much of a threat, and then re-emphasized the importance of China.

"I had seen enough at that point and heard enough to be a little bit sensitive to the question of the nature of Gen. Flynn's engagements with the Russians," Rice concluded.

That testimony has been pointed to as the potential justification of "unmasking" Gen. Flynn's name from an intelligence intercept of a phone call with a Russia ambassador. The identity of American citizens are masked in intelligence intercepts of foreign officials.

Also in Rice's email sought by Johnson, in the already declassified lines, Rice wrote about then-FBI Director James Comey was directed to report to then-President Obama.

"The president asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team," Rice's email read. "Comey said he would."

The request by Johnson is noteworthy, considering his past request for the list of Obama officials who requested "unmasking" Gen. Flynn's name in intelligence reports was acted upon by Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell last week.

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The infamous "by the book" email Obama administration official Susan Rice sent herself in her final moments on the job is now being sought to be fully declassified by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.Johnson made the request of Attorney General William Barr in a letter obtained by...
ronjohnson, email, declassified, susanrice, flynn
Monday, 18 May 2020 07:41 PM
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