The Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee apparently have more intelligence than their counterparts on the House Intelligence Committee judging from the differing conclusions from their separate investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) told The Hill that “We see no reason to dispute the conclusions” made by the intelligence community that Russia not only meddled in the 2016 presidential race but also sought to assist President Trump’s victory.
“There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 elections,” Burr plainly declared.
That’s a starkly different conclusion than that reached by the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, led by fawning Trump surrogate Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), which issued a report last month absolving the Trump administration of any wrong-doing in its multiple interactions with Russian agents during the campaign, a move that Democrats on the committee called a flawed, politically motivated whitewash of a flawed and incomplete investigatory process.
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Senator Burr and the Senate committee agreed with the conclusions made by top officials in the intelligence community in their 2017 assessment of Russia’s actions during the campaign which found three reasons for their cyber-warfare attacks: “to undermine U.S. democracy, damage Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and to help Trump win the White House.”
The committee met with former NSA director Mike Rogers, former CIA director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper earlier on Wednesday before issuing their bipartisan statement.
The Democratic Vice Chair of the Committee, Mark Warner (D-VA) said that his party’s members agreed with the findings as well.
“After a thorough review, our staff concluded that the [Intelligence Community Assessment] conclusions were accurate and on point,” Warner said. “The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton.”
The committee announced that it expects to be finished with its inquiry by August, having already released a report that detailed the “unprecedented, coordinated cyber campaign” by Russia against the nation’s digital election systems.
Meanwhile, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is continuing his investigation into whether the Trump campaign illegally coordinated with Russia during the run-up to the election and beyond, pursuing the many links between top campaign officials and Russian operatives around the globe.
With multiple indictments already announced, the world eagerly awaits the results of Muller’s closely-guarded probe as the evidence available to the public increasingly looks increasingly incriminating. The Special Counsel is noted for his methodical process while conducting investigations, however, so the end date for that investigation is still unknown.
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