Senate Intelligence Committee To Probe Russia, Trump Campaign Ties

United States Senators Mark Warner (Democrat of Virginia), left, and Richard Burr (Republican of North Carolina), right, prior to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence confirmation hearing on the nomination ... United States Senators Mark Warner (Democrat of Virginia), left, and Richard Burr (Republican of North Carolina), right, prior to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence confirmation hearing on the nomination of US Representative Mike Pompeo (Republican of Kansas) to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Thursday, January 12, 2017. Credit: Ron Sachs / CNP Photo by: Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images MORE LESS
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The Senate Intelligence Committee announced Friday that it will probe the involvement of Russian intelligence agencies in the 2016 election, including possible ties between Russia and advisers to President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign.

The committee’s investigation now appears to contradict Chairman Richard Burr’s (R-NC) earlier assertion that he would not investigate advisers to Trump’s campaign.

“We believe that it is critical to have a full understanding of the scope of Russian intelligence activities impacting the United States,” Burr and committee vice chairman Sen. Mark Warner (D -VA) said in a joint statement Friday.

Under investigation, the statement says, are the practices of the U.S. intelligence community, “any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns,” and Russian cyber activity and other “active measures” aimed at the United States during the election and more broadly.

“[W]e have every reason to believe that commitment will be honored by the incoming administration,” the statement says, before noting that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) “have made it clear they expect any investigation into Russia’s involvement in our nation’s elections to be conducted in a bipartisan manner.”

The statement specifies two reports from the U.S. intelligence community that it said raised “profound concerns”: the Oct. 7, 2016 joint statement from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Jan. 6 report of this year issued by the ODNI and the CIA.

Both reports found that Russian-backed agents stole emails from Democratic groups and individuals. The latter report found that the hacking effort was carried out under Vladimir Putin’s orders, “to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”

In a separate individual statement, Warner noted that while the committee was “clearly best positioned” to carry out the investigation, “whoever does this needs to do it right. If it turns out that SSCI cannot properly conduct this investigation, I will support legislation to empower whoever can do it right.”

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  1. Richard Burr chairs this committee. I repeat: Richard Burr chairs this committee.

    Therefore, nothing will come out of whatever “investigating” is done that could in any way do the slightest harm to any Republican anywhere.

    Oh, and did I mention that Richard Burr chairs this committee?

  2. Trump: My first signing statement will be to bar any investigation which involves Russia or my Taxes. If you do it, you go to jail in Siberia.

  3. Avatar for mantan mantan says:

    On the discomfort scale, I think videos of a sodden king size bed Trump a Dick Burr…

  4. Avatar for sanni sanni says:

    Where this goes (not likely to go far) depends on how seriously it begins to look like the damage Team Trump will bring to bear will be so egregious that it will taint the entire party. We are far, far from that point - at least from the perspective of the entrenched - power hungry Party before Country GOP.

    But team trump’s bull in the china shop routine for preparing to run the country is promising to break a heck of a lot of china - burn bridges with the intelligence community - making it more likely that the country is unprotected from an external attack. That happens while the GOP does nothing - takes the whole GOP down like it’s never been pulled down before. No grace like W got after 911 and no patriot gloss given to the GOP in congress. They have obstructed so long (8 years), the alarms are sounding loudly enough that the probe has been announced, something goes down - and it is really, really bad for their party.

    Not terribly hopeful, but holding on to a think thread of “let’s see where this goes.”

  5. A step toward preserving the republic? Or a step toward delay, obfuscation, cover-up, and sweeping under the rug? It will take more than this - with Burr and McConnell in charge - to get the answers and actions we need.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

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