Senators flag 'unusual' Susan Rice email on Russian Federation probe from Inauguration Day

Real collusion

Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) released the email along with a list of questions for Rice about the missive on Monday.

The email also outlined an Oval Office meeting with Obama, James Comey, Sally Yates, and Joe Biden that took place that month.

In the email, Obama's national security adviser wrote: "President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities 'by the book.' The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective".

"In addition, despite your claim that President Obama repeatedly told Mr. Comey to proceed 'by the book, ' substantial questions have arisen about whether officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as at the Justice Department and the State Department, actually did proceed 'by the book, '" they charged.

Trump's choice to replace Rice, disgraced retired general Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty previous year to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russian officials during the transition period leading up to Trump assuming office.

The Rice letter also reveals that Obama instructed Rice and others to potentially limit access of the incoming Trump administration to classified information related to Russian Federation.

Sens. Grassley and Graham posted statements to their websites saying they "were struck by the context and timing of this email, and [they] sent a follow up letter to Ambassador Rice". The senators say they’ve found evidence that either Steele lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or classified documents supporting the surveillance contain false statements.

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According to reports, on the same day, Comey briefed Obama on the unverified Trump dossier by ex-British spy Christopher Steele.

Last week, Fox News and some Republicans claimed newly unearthed text messages showed President Barack Obama tampered with the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.

Grassley and Graham have referred Steele for criminal charges and have focused much of the Senate probe into Russian election interference on the FBI and other officials' handling of the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham seem to be probing that very question. "He's been victimized by the Obama Administration who were using all sorts of.agencies, not just the FBI & DOJ, now the State Department to dig up dirt on him in the days leading up to the Election, '" Trump said Saturday in a pair of tweets, quoting from a Fox News interview given by Tom Fitton, the president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.

They also questioned Rice about surveillance tactics - including an FBI-requested warrant to wiretap Trump associate Carter Page.

Thousands of text messages obtained by the DOJ Inspector General reveal that the lead Federal Bureau of Investigation agent on both the Clinton and Trump cases, Peter Strzok, and a high-ranking Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer, Lisa Page, had a clear bias in favor of Clinton and against Trump.

But Rice, after a section that remains classified, indicated Obama discussed sharing the information with the incoming Trump administration.

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