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 GrahamHillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars DOJ: Dem subpoena for Mueller report is 'premature and unnecessary' Dems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions MORE (R-S.C.) and Ranking Member Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Dems introduce bill to tackle 'digital divide' Senators press drug industry 'middlemen' over high prices 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.