On 8 July, the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps convicted former National Security Advisor Susan Rice of high treason and sentenced her to death for her participation in a 2017 scheme to defame then-President Elect Trump by falsely and knowingly linking his campaign to baseless allegations of Russian collusion. And for misusing her authority to spy on law-abiding American patriots.
Vice Adm. John G. Hannink, representing the military, opened the proceedings by drawing the three-officer panel’s attention to a declassified email Rice had sent to James Comey and other intelligence officials. In it, Rice instructed intelligence agencies to withhold classified data from the incoming administration because, she claimed, Gen. Michael Flynn had conspired with Russian assets to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Her request was unprecedented and illegal, as no outgoing administration had ever denied an incoming team access to daily intelligence briefings. Her unfounded accusations were later proven false.
“Susan Rice had a history of telling lies for personal gain,” Vice Adm. Hannink told the tribunal. “She fabricated information, which she knew was false, to try to thwart Trump’s installation as President of the United States, and she disseminated those lies among her colleagues.”
To prove his point, Vice Adm. Hannink played an audiotape of a conference call that took place on November 11, 2016, three days after Trump had resoundingly defeated Hillary Clinton. The participants on the call included Rice, James Comey, then-VP Joe Biden, and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Rice said on that call that on July 23, 2016, she had coerced from the Foreign Intelligence Service Court (FISA) a warrant granting the intelligence community permission to wiretap several Trump properties, including Trump Towers, Mar-a-Lago, his campaign headquarters, Trump Park Avenue, and six properties abroad.
“Trump is not fit to be president, and we’ll surely fish out something to keep him out of the Oval Office before his inauguration,” Rice said on the tape. “I’m sure we’ll obtain enough genuine information, so we don’t have to make things up.”
“These wiretaps were placed four days after Trump was officially nominated as the Republican candidate. She admits it was a fishing expedition, not because Trump or his incoming team committed a crime, but because they, well, did not like Trump. This is the ultimate betrayal of office, and, yes, treason,” Vice Adm. Hannink said.
“No one close to Trump escaped these illegal wiretaps. They tapped Melania, Eric, Don Jr., their housekeeping staff—the list is exhausting,” Vice Adm. Hannink went on.
Rice, who appeared without benefit of counsel, said, “I acted in the name of preserving this country. And I’d do it again. Donald Trump should never have become president, and if this tribunal, as you call it, is just, I will be exonerated.”
“Preserving this country. Interesting choice of words,” Vice Adm. Hannink said. “Let’s remove Trump from the picture. Were you preserving this nation when you asked NSA Directors General Keith Alexander and Adm. Michael Rogers to tap the phones and electronic devices of American citizens who were not suspected of any crimes but were merely critical of Barack Obama?” Vice Adm. Hannink asked.
He handed the panel of ream of documents to review, saying each page held the name of innocent persons whom Obama had deemed enemy combatants. Each document bore the signature of either Rice or her subordinate, Deputy NSA Director Antony Blinkin.
“A father and son who ran a website critical of Obama’s immigration policies. Serious stuff there,” Vice Adm. Hannink said, his voice rich with sarcasm.
“They were traitors,” Rice barked. “You’re all traitors.”
“If I cared to spend a week in your presence, I could go back to your days with Clinton, your lies about how Benghazi happened, we could unmask much, much more. But others are waiting to sit in your chair,” Vice Adm. Hannink said.
He reminded the tribunal that capital punishment can be imposed for treason and espionage, and recommended that fate, if the commission found her guilty.
And it did.
The three-officer panel unanimously agreed Rice be put to death for her crimes against America.
The date and method of execution were not immediately set.
Correction: We mistakenly wrote the 2016 Presidential Election took place on 20 November, 2016. It is been corrected in the text to the November 8.