House Intel Chair Opposes Special Committee To Probe Russian Hacking


Correction: The original version of this story suggested that Nunes did not support investigating cyber attacks carried out by Russia. His statement was referring to calls for the creation of a special committee to investigate Russian hacking, which Nunes rejected. The House Intelligence Committee announced in late January that the panel began receiving documents for a probe into Russian cyber attacks during the 2016 election.

Original Story:

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, on Monday said that he will not launch a new investigation into Russian hacking now that the CIA has concluded that the Russian government tried to meddle in the 2016 election and aid Donald Trump.

“The House Intelligence Committee is conducting vigorous oversight of the investigations into election-related cyber attacks. Seeing as cyber attacks, including Russian attacks, have been one of the committee’s top priorities for many years, we’ve held extensive briefings and hearings on the topic,” Nunes said in a statement. “As the FBI, CIA, and other elements of the Intelligence Community continue their investigations into these attacks, the House Intelligence Committee will remain a vigilant monitor of their efforts. We will also closely oversee the production of the report on these attacks requested by President Obama to ensure its analytical integrity.”

“At this time I do not see any benefit in opening further investigations, which would duplicate current committee oversight efforts and Intelligence Community inquiries,” Nunes, a member of Trump’s transition team, concluded.

Nunes did say he was “dismayed” by reports that the CIA and FBI were not in agreement on Russia’s motives. On Monday, he sent a letter to the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, asking why Congress was not informed of this disagreement.

“In light of the Committee’s robust oversight efforts on these issues, I was dismayed that we did not learn earlier, from you directly, about the reported conflicting assessments and the CIA’s reported revision of information previously conveyed to this Committee,” Nunes wrote in the letter obtained by the Washington Post.

The Washington Post had reported that while the CIA came to a new conclusion last week that Russia intended to tip the scales toward Trump, but officials at the FBI are less clear on Russia’s motives.

Nunes asked Clapper for an intelligence briefing that includes the CIA and FBI on the intelligence community’s assessment of the Russian hacking by Dec. 16.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday would not call for a special committee to investigate Russian hacking and said that the Senate Intelligence Committee can launch a probe. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has also said that the Senate Armed Services Committee should look into it.