Senate subcommittee to launch Russian interference probe

Senate subcommittee to launch Russian interference probe
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A Senate subcommittee is launching an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and how to prevent similar attacks in the future, subcommittee leaders announced Thursday.

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism probe will be the second lawmaker investigation into the Kremlin's attempts to influence the election.

“Our goal is simple — to the fullest extent possible we want to shine a light on Russian activities to undermine democracy," committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump says he will sign executive order to end family separations Trump backs narrow bill halting family separations: official Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Trump officials move to expand non-ObamaCare health plans | 'Zero tolerance' policy stirs fears in health community | New ObamaCare repeal plan MORE (R-S.C.) and Ranking Member Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseLive coverage: FBI chief, Justice IG testify on critical report GAO to look into Trump's reduction of carbon social costs Overnight Energy: Pruitt used security detail to run errands | Dems want probe into Pruitt's Chick-fil-A dealings | Yellowstone superintendent says he was forced out MORE (D-R.I.) said in a joint written statement. 

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They said the investigation will focus on Russia's methodology in the 2016 election and "possible avenues to help prevent and deter" foreign attacks and ensure the FBI is properly funded to handle these threats. It will include both open and closed hearings. 

The Senate Intelligence Committee last month announced its own official investigation into Russia's activities. 

The intelligence community publicly blamed Russia for hacks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the campaign that led to damaging leaks, and a declassified report showed the community's conclusion that the Kremlin interfered in the election specifically to help President Trump win.

Moscow has denied any involvement in the election. Trump for months was dismissive of the intelligence community's conclusions. He has since acknowledged that Russia was likely behind the hack, but has mostly cast blame on the DNC for poor security practices and shown no inclination to investigate the interference or punish the Kremlin.