Senate Intel panel announces Russia hearing

Senate Intel panel announces Russia hearing
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The Senate Intelligence Committee announced Friday that it will hold a rare open session to question senior intelligence officials on Russian hacking activities.  

The hearing will come the day after the White House is expected to make public a declassified version of a hotly anticipated report from the intelligence community detailing Russian interference in the U.S. election. A classified version will go to Congress.

Four blockbuster witnesses will testify on Tuesday: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers and FBI Director James Comey.

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Clapper and Rogers testified on the matter before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday but provided few new details, arguing that they did not want to preempt the report.

The Intelligence Committee hearing will be watched particularly closely for clues as to how Republicans will tackle the investigation into Russian involvement in the election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Health Care: New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (R-Ky.) has said he believes the issue is best handled by that notoriously secretive panel — a move critics say was an attempt to sweep the matter under the rug.

President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Trump Jr. declines further Secret Service protection: report Report: Mueller warned Manafort to expect an indictment MORE has continued to deny that Moscow was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and others.

Comey’s testimony will also be closely watched.

Many Democrats — include former Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe Memo: Trump pulls off a stone-cold stunner The Memo: Ending DACA a risky move for Trump Manchin pressed from both sides in reelection fight MORE (D-Nev.) — have explicitly blamed him for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax hit by earlier hack | What to know about Kaspersky controversy | Officials review EU-US privacy pact Overnight Tech: Equifax hit by earlier undisclosed hack | Facebook takes heat over Russian ads | Alt-right Twitter rival may lose domain MORE's loss in November. They have accused him of doggedly pursuing the investigation into Clinton’s private email server while neglecting to give the breach at the DNC the attention it deserved.