WASHINGTON — Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has not ruled out taking legal action to have former National Security Advisor Susan Rice testify before his committee.
According to Grassley’s Senate Judiciary Committee spokesman Taylor Foy, “A subpoena is always an option. We are hopeful that we can get all pertinent information necessary to conduct a thorough investigation through voluntary cooperation, especially from current and former public servants, but we are keeping all options open.”
Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch told TheDC he would support Grassley if he decided to take such action.
“She served in the prior administration and she ought to be open to coming and testifying,” Hatch said.
Rice declined Grassley’s invitation Wednesday to testify before the committee about her role in unmasking Americans who were caught up in U.S. foreign intelligence surveillance.
Rice’s lawyer cited Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary’s subcommittee on crime and terrorism, that he advised the Obama official to not to come before the subcommittee Monday.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the subcommittee, told TheDC on Thursday that it is not over yet for getting Rice to testify before the committee.
“I don’t know where we’ll go with her yet, but I do believe that she should be before the committee. She talks to MSNBC and she talks to CNN about what she did as national security advisor regarding unmasking,” Graham said. “After the hearing Monday ask me that question [about subpoenaing Rice].”
Grassley said in a statement Wednesday night on Rice’s refusal to testify, “Declining to attend because you didn’t get an invite from a member of your party is a poor excuse and makes it appear as though she’s hiding something. No investigation will be complete until her role is understood. I agree with Ranking Member Feinstein that Rice should reconsider.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, however, shuddered at the thought subpoenaing Obama’s national security advisor.
“I don’t see any reason to make big think issue of it. If she gets an invitation again, she may handle it differently. We’ll see,” Feinstein told TheDC.
When asked her thoughts about a possible subpoena, she responded, “I really don’t want to get into that. It’s not necessary.”