Senate Foreign Relations panel to probe Russian hacking

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Tuesday that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will dig into Russian hacking of the elections.
Corker, who chairs the committee, told CNN that senators would hold open hearings as well as classified, closed-door briefings.
“We are going to systematically walk through the entire Russia issue and fully understand what has transpired,” Corker said. 
Corker’s decision makes the Foreign Relations panel the third Senate committee to probe allegations that Russia tried to influence the U.S. election. The Intelligence and Armed Services committees are also expected to conduct their own investigations.
{mosads}Corker added Tuesday that while it’s clear Russia tried to interfere in U.S. politics, it’s unclear if their aim was to help elect Donald Trump, now the president-elect.
A spokeswoman told The Hill that the committee will begin with hearings in early January.
“The committee plans to systematically look at this issue in the broader context of our overall Russia policy and will begin with both a classified briefing and an open hearing on Russia,” the aide added.

The Washington Post reported Friday that the CIA concluded Russia intervened in the election to try to help the real estate mogul. 

The report sparked calls from an influential group of lawmakers, including incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), to create a special select committee to investigate the allegations.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared to reject that effort on Tuesday, arguing the Intelligence Committee was “more than capable” of digging into the Russian hacking. 
Democratic Sens. Ben Cardin (Md.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.) — the top Democrats on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence and Judiciary committees, respectively — are separately pushing for a nonpartisan commission to be created.

Nine Democratic senators also said Tuesday they want a formal intelligence report on Russian tampering in the U.S. election before Trump takes office next month.

Trump dismissed the CIA’s assessment in an interview Sunday, calling it “ridiculous.” Trump said Monday that if the election results were reversed and he was the one making such an accusation it would be considered a “conspiracy theory.”

– Updated at 4:45 p.m.

Tags Ben Cardin Bob Corker Charles Schumer Dianne Feinstein Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Patrick Leahy
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