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Senate Intel panel approves final Russia report, moves toward public release

  • August 05, 2020

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Senate Intel panel approves final Russia report, moves toward public release

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday voted to adopt its fifth and final report on Russia’e election interference efforts in 2016, with committee leaders vowing to keep working towards releasing a declassified version of the report to the public.

The fifth report, the product of a years-long bipartisan investigation by the committee, covers counterintelligence findings, and was recently returned to the committee following a declassification review by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

“Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to adopt the classified version of the final volume of the Committee’s bipartisan Russia investigation,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) said in a joint statement Tuesday.

“In the coming days, the Committee will work to incorporate any additional views, as well as work with the Intelligence Community to formalize a properly redacted, declassified, publicly releasable version of the Volume 5 report,” Warner and Rubio added. “We want to thank the Committee’s Russia investigative staff for their years of diligent, hard work on this critical matter.”

The committee has already released four previous reports on Russian efforts to target election infrastructure in 2016, the use of social media to sway the election, the U.S. government’s response to Russian interference efforts, and a review of the Intelligence Community’s assessment of Russian election interference.

The committee’s investigation into Russian interference efforts has remained largely bipartisan, in marked contrast to the House Intelligence Committee’s parallel investigation into the issue, which concluded in 2018.

The fifth report’s eventual release will mark the end of the last major investigation into Russian election interference efforts in 2016, and also follows the investigation of former special counsel Robert Mueller, which wrapped up last year.

Both Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee have concluded that Russia launched a sweeping and sophisticated effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential elections, including through targeting election infrastructure and disinformation efforts on social media platforms.

In the lead up to the 2020 presidential elections, Democrats have raised concerns over foreign interference efforts, and a key intelligence official warned last month that Russia, China, and Iran are attempting to interfere in U.S. elections.

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