Senate subcommittee to launch Russian interference probe

Senate subcommittee to launch Russian interference probe
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A Senate subcommittee is launching an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and how to prevent similar attacks in the future, subcommittee leaders announced Thursday.

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism probe will be the second lawmaker investigation into the Kremlin's attempts to influence the election.

“Our goal is simple — to the fullest extent possible we want to shine a light on Russian activities to undermine democracy," committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan Overnight Defense: Trump says he has 'many options' on Iran | Hostage negotiator chosen for national security adviser | Senate Dems block funding bill | Documents show Pentagon spent at least 4K at Trump's Scotland resort GOP's Kennedy sends warning shot to Trump nominee Menashi MORE (R-S.C.) and Ranking Member Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump eyes narrowly focused response to Iran attacks Kavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Senate GOP pledges to oppose any efforts to 'pack' Supreme Court MORE (D-R.I.) said in a joint written statement. 

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They said the investigation will focus on Russia's methodology in the 2016 election and "possible avenues to help prevent and deter" foreign attacks and ensure the FBI is properly funded to handle these threats. It will include both open and closed hearings. 

The Senate Intelligence Committee last month announced its own official investigation into Russia's activities. 

The intelligence community publicly blamed Russia for hacks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the campaign that led to damaging leaks, and a declassified report showed the community's conclusion that the Kremlin interfered in the election specifically to help President Trump win.

Moscow has denied any involvement in the election. Trump for months was dismissive of the intelligence community's conclusions. He has since acknowledged that Russia was likely behind the hack, but has mostly cast blame on the DNC for poor security practices and shown no inclination to investigate the interference or punish the Kremlin.