Se­nate in­tel­li­gence panel to ex­am­ine pos­si­ble cam­paign links with Rus­sia

Houston Chronicle - - NATION | WORLD -

WASHINGTON — The Se­nate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee will in­ves­ti­gate pos­si­ble con­tacts be­tween Rus­sia and the peo­ple as­so­ci­ated with U.S. po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns as part of a broader in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Moscow’s med­dling in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

In a state­ment late Fri­day, Sens. Richard Burr. R-N.C., the com­mit­tee’s chair­man, and Mark Warner, D-Va., the panel’s top Demo­crat, said the panel “will fol­low the in­tel­li­gence where it leads.”

Burr and Warner said that as part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion they will in­ter­view se­nior of­fi­cials from the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion and the in­com­ing Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. They said sub­poe­nas would be is­sued “if nec­es­sary to com­pel tes­ti­mony.”

“We will con­duct this in­quiry ex­pe­di­tiously, and we will get it right,” the se­na­tors said.

A de­clas­si­fied in­tel­li­gence re­port re­leased last week said Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin or­dered a hid­den cam­paign to in­flu­ence the elec­tion to fa­vor Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump over Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton, rev­e­la­tions that have roiled Washington.

Trump and his sup­port­ers have staunchly re­sisted the find­ings and Trump has lev­eled a se­ries of broad­sides at U.S. in­tel­li­gence agen­cies, even though he’ll have to rely on their ex­per­tise to help him make ma­jor na­tional se­cu­rity de­ci­sions once he takes over at the White House.

At a news con­fer­ence this week, Trump spec­u­lated that U.S. in­tel­li­gence agen­cies might have leaked de­tails about a clas­si­fied brief­ing with him that in­cluded un­sub­stan­ti­ated al­le­ga­tions that Rus­sia had col­lected com­pro­mis­ing sex­ual and fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion about him.

He said any such in­for­ma­tion was not true: “It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn’t hap­pen.”

The bulk of the Se­nate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee’s work will be done in se­cret, al­though the se­na­tors said they will hold open hear­ings when pos­si­ble.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­mit­tee’s state­ment, the in­quiry will in­clude:

• A re­view of the in­tel­li­gence that in­formed the de­clas­si­fied re­port about Rus­sia’s in­ter­fer­ence in the elec­tion.

• “Coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence con­cerns” re­lated to Rus­sia and the elec­tion, “in­clud­ing any in­tel­li­gence re­gard­ing links be­tween Rus­sia and in­di­vid­u­als as­so­ci­ated with po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns.”

• Rus­sian cy­ber ac­tiv­ity and other “ac­tive mea­sures” against the U.S. dur­ing the elec­tion and more broadly.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.