National Security

Senate panel submits final volume of Russian interference probe for classification review

The Senate Intelligence Committee announced Friday it has submitted the fifth and final volume of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election for classification review, marking one of the last steps before the sprawling probe concludes.

The committee sent the fifth bipartisan report, which pertains to its counterintelligence findings, to the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for review. The panel also said it submitted nearly 1,000 pages with redaction recommendations in the hopes that it may help speed up the review process for an unclassified version of the report to be approved.

“The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has submitted the fifth and final volume of its bipartisan investigative report into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election to the Office of Director of National Intelligence for classification review,” said Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.), who have led the panel’s Russia probe.

The committee previously released four other volumes that examined election security, Russia’s disinformation campaign, the Obama administration’s handling of Russian interference and the committee’s review of the intelligence community assessment.

One day before the classification announcement, Burr announced that he was temporarily stepping aside as chairman of the Senate panel amid an investigation into his stock trades made shortly before the coronavirus outbreak.

Burr said in a statement that the panel’s work is “too important hindering it in any way.”

It is unclear who will take Burr’s place in the interim.

The Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation will conclude after the panel spent more than three years examining the Kremlin’s impact on the presidential race between President Trump and Hillary Clinton.

It will be the last investigation into the 2016 election to wrap up, following former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that ended last year and the House Intelligence Committee’s probe which concluded in 2018.

Mueller’s probe did not find evidence that members of the Trump campaign coordinated or conspired with Russia during the 2016 election, but he did not make a determination either way as to whether Trump obstructed justice. The former FBI chief’s report extensively detailed years-long, multi-pronged attacks by Russia to sow discord in the U.S. through cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns. 

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Mark Warner Mueller investigation Richard Burr Robert Mueller

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