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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 McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure 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 TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA 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 Mason ReidWATCH: There is no Trump-Russia collusion and the media should stop pushing this The demise of debate in Congress ‘North by Northwest,’ the Carter Page remake MORE (D-Nev.) — have explicitly blamed him for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map 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.