The statement came shortly after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement slamming the three Republicans for politicizing the issue, calling the criticism a “personal attacks” against Rice, as well as “outrageous and utterly unmoored from facts and reality.”
“I am shocked that senators would continue these attacks even when the evidence – including disclosures from the intelligence community about the information she presented – have made it clear that the allegations against Ambassador Rice are baseless, and that she has done absolutely nothing wrong,” Reid said, saying that Rice has answered all questions put before her, and that further investigation into the issue should be left with the intelligence and homeland security committees.
“There should be no place for such blatant partisanship in oversight of our nation’s intelligence community,” Reid said. “The election is over. It is time to drop these partisan political games, and focus our attention on the real challenges facing us as a nation.”
Rice is a likely nominee for secretary of state, and the Republican criticism of her on this issue could dog her in Senate confirmation hearings. Ayotte said earlier that she would put a hold on Rice’s nomination until further questions were answered.
The U.N. ambassador will meet with Sen. Susan Collins, ranking member of the homeland security committee, on Wednesday.