Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security advisor, was scheduled to testify before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in a closed-door session today. However, Fox News is reporting that Rice is no longer expected to make an appearance on Capitol Hill.
Rice was scheduled to testify in connection with the Obama Administration’s “unmasking” of Trump campaign members who appeared in intelligence reports. There were reports earlier this year that Trump campaign officials appeared in intelligence reports as “incidental” surveillance, meaning that they were not surveilled as a primary target. Intelligence may have been collected on Trump officials through interactions with the primary target of surveillance, such as meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak or Natalia Veselnitskaya.
When American citizens appear in intelligence reports, their identities are typically “masked” to protect their privacy. In the case of the Trump officials, Obama Administration officials, including Rice and UN Ambassador Samantha Power, allegedly ordered the unmasking of the Trump officials.
Rice was expected to face pointed questions about her role in the unmaskings. Last week, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said that he intended to ask, “Did you unmask the names and if so why?” Jordan also intended to ask Rice about her statements that an anti-Muslim video led to the attack on the Benghazi consulate in 2012.
Rice has denied any wrongdoing and told CNN last month that she testify before the intelligence committee. In May, she declined to appear before the House Judiciary Committee.
Fox News did not cite a reason for the schedule change.
Our sources report that the House asked for the reschedule, despite reports being spread that Rice asked for the delay. The reasoning is that Rice should testify the same day as Samantha Powers. Reports to the contrary are “fake news.”
At this point, there is no indication of when or if Rice’s testimony will be rescheduled. House committees do have the power to subpoena witnesses, but there is no indication that they are preparing to do so yet.