Week ahead: Comey heads to the Hill; Russia probes press ahead

Week ahead: Comey heads to the Hill; Russia probes press ahead
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

The coming week will see congressional panels push forward on their investigations into Russian election interference and representatives from government and industry meet at an annual forum on digital transformation.

There is also sure to be more speculation on President Trump's executive order on cybersecurity, which has been delayed since January. The order still hasn't been signed, despite conjecture that the president could do so as early as Friday.

The House Intelligence Committee has invited FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to appear before the committee in a closed-door setting on Tuesday as part of the ongoing investigation into Russia's meddling.

The panel has also invited former Obama administration officials, including ex-acting attorney general Sally Yates, to testify sometime after May 2.


The committee has been working to get back on track since Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) temporarily recused himself from the Russia investigation, handing the reins to Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas.).

The appearance would be Comey's first before the panel since he revealed at a public hearing in March that the bureau is investigating Russia's election interference, including exploring any links or coordination between Trump's campaign and Moscow.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, which has launched a separate investigation into Russian interference, has brought on two additional staffers to help with the probe, after critical reports emerged that the panel had been stymied by partisan bickering.

Comey is already set to testify on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing on oversight of the FBI. The committee announced the hearing on Wednesday. It will be Comey's first public appearance before a Senate panel since Trump took office.

Lawmakers are also poised to discuss small business cyber threats in the coming week.

The House Science Committee will mark up the NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act of 2017 on Tuesday morning. The bill, introduced by Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), directs the National Institutes of Standards and Technology to offer guidance to small businesses to reduce cybersecurity risks.

Then there's the issue of IT modernization, which the Trump administration has singled out as a priority.

The Adobe Digital Government Symposium will take place on Tuesday at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., featuring discussions on IT modernization and securing digital systems. Among the participants are the chief information officers for the Department of Defense, and Central Intelligence Agency, as well as Michael Chertoff, former secretary of Homeland Security in the George W. Bush adminitration.

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) is also slated to deliver a keynote at the event. Hurd on Friday joined with Reps. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyTrump, Democrats set for brawl on Iran war powers Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers Democrats 'utterly unpersuaded' by evidence behind Soleimani strike MORE (D-Va.) to reintroduce legislation to accelerate the federal government's IT modernization, a subject that is likely to come up during his remarks.

Lawmakers will also continue to grapple with how to fund the government, after passing a weeklong stopgap funding bill on Friday to keep the government running until May 5.

Experts and officials have warned of the negative effects that continuing resolutions have on cybersecurity efforts across the federal government.