WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Former President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice "respectfully declined" Lindsey Graham's offer to speak in front of the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism because the invitation did not come from both the chairman and a ranking member of the panel, CBS News said, citing a letter from Rice’s attorney.
On April 3, media suggested that Rice asked US intelligence agencies to unmask the names of President Donald Trump's associates that were covered during surveillance of Trump’s transition team. Rice has been accused of doing the unmasking of names in the intelligence reports for political reasons.
The lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, stated in the letter that despite Rice deciding not to speak at the hearing, she would help Congress with any investigation into Russia's role in the November 8 election due to its high importance for national interests.
Rice has previously denied accusations that she was trying to politicize intelligence and claimed that she issued requests to unmask names in intelligence reports for work purposes.
Russian officials have repeatedly denied the allegations into meddling in the US election, calling them absurd and created to deflect public opinion from revealed instances of corruption and other pressing domestic concerns.