WASHINGTON- Three House Republican lawmakers who served on President Donald Trump’s transition team have demanded that former Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice testify before Congress.
“It has come to our attention through recent media accounts that members of President’s Trump’s transition team were potentially “unmasked” in intelligence reports at the request of Obama Administration official Susan Rice… We demand that Ms. Rice be called to testify before Congress in order to discern her motivations for these actions,” Representatives Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Chris Collins (N.Y.) and Lou Barletta (Pa.) wrote in a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on Tuesday.
Prior to the letter issuance Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) insisted that Rice should compelled to testify via subpoena.
Rice has denied the allegations.
“I leaked nothing to nobody, and never have,” she told MSNBC on Monday.
Rice said in the interview that she had on occasion asked that the identity of certain individuals documented in intelligence reports be revealed but maintained that such requests were not related to the Trump team and had not been done “for any political purposes.”
In a prior interview with NPR, she denied knowing about any surveillance or unmasking of Trump’s transition team.
Trump last month tweeted the former President Barack Obama had ordered Trump Tower to be placed under electronic surveillance during the transition period.
A spokesperson for Obama said the claim is false.
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has stated that he has not seen any evidence to substantiate the Trump Tower claim.
But Nunes did say he has seen evidence from unnamed sources suggesting general surveillance of the Trump transition team had taken place.
Nunes three weeks ago held a press conference in which he announced receipt of the information. Nunes then briefed President Trump.
Democrats have requested that Nunes should step aside as his actions jeopardize the integrity of committee’s investigation into Russian election interference and allegations of collusion among members of the Trump campaign and high-ranking Russian officials.
Nunes has stated that the will not recuse himself. He has also refused to disclose how he obtained information suggesting surveillance had taken place.
The New York Times last week reported that Nunes had been provided evidence by two unnamed White House officials.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence also is investigation Russian election interference and allegations of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and high-ranking Russian officials.