Senate Intel Committee to hold public hearing on election meddling

Senate Intel Committee to hold public hearing on election meddling
© Greg Nash

The Senate Intelligence Committee is set to meet on Wednesday for a hearing on Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, the panel's top lawmakers announced Friday.

The meeting is the panel's first open hearing on the subject since committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrLawmakers grapple with warrantless wiretapping program Facebook under fire over Russian ads in election 5 senators call for US to shutter embassy in Havana MORE (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerOvernight 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 Facebook under fire over Russian ads in election MORE (D-Va.) met with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is charged with leading the law enforcement investigation into the matter.

That meeting focused on coordinating the special counsel's probe with the intelligence committee's separate investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, coordination aimed at decreasing any conflicts between the two.

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After meeting with Mueller, Burr and Warner said that their committee would step back from probing President Trump for possible obstruction of justice and would instead focus their investigation on Russia's efforts to disrupt and influence the election.

The hearing scheduled for next Wednesday is aimed at understanding how the Kremlin interfered in the election, as well as U.S. efforts to secure future elections, particularly in 2018 and 2020.

Among those going before the committee are top officials in the FBI and Homeland Security Department, as well as a number of elections experts and officials.

The committee's Russia investigation has, in recent months, turned increasingly to allegations of coordination between members of Trump's presidential campaign and Moscow, as well as the president's abrupt decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, who was previously in charge of the bureau's own Russia probe.

The U.S. intelligence community issued a report in January concluding that the Kremlin had sought to run an extensive hacking and influence campaign to sway the election in Trump's favor.

Top intelligence officials have warned that Russia would likely try to do so again in future elections.