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 McConnellMitch McConnellLawmakers look forward after ObamaCare repeal failure McConnell: 'Time to move on' after healthcare defeat Senate defeats ObamaCare repeal measure 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 TrumpTrump cheers on Senate GOP ahead of 'skinny' ObamaCare repeal vote Live Coverage: Senate votes down 'skinny' ObamaCare repeal Pete King defends ‘unorthodox’ Scaramucci after attacks on Priebus 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 ReidConservative Senate candidate calls on GOP to end filibuster Ex-Reid aide: McConnell's 'original sin' was casting ObamaCare as 'partisan, socialist takeover' GOP faces growing demographic nightmare in West MORE (D-Nev.) — have explicitly blamed him for Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSessions says he doesn't regret recusing himself from Russia probe Judiciary Committee Republicans want a second special counsel: report Fusion GPS: White House trying to smear us on Russia 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.