Senate panel submits final volume of Russian interference probe for classification review

Senate panel submits final volume of Russian interference probe for classification review
© Greg Nash

The Senate Intelligence Committee announced Friday it has submitted the fifth and final volume of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election for classification review, marking one of the last steps before the sprawling probe concludes.

The committee sent the fifth bipartisan report, which pertains to its counterintelligence findings, to the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for review. The panel also said it submitted nearly 1,000 pages with redaction recommendations in the hopes that it may help speed up the review process for an unclassified version of the report to be approved.

“The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has submitted the fifth and final volume of its bipartisan investigative report into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election to the Office of Director of National Intelligence for classification review," said Intelligence Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSenate GOP opens door to smaller coronavirus deal as talks lag Hillicon Valley: Google extending remote work policy through July 2021 | Intel community returns final Russia report to Senate committee after declassification | Study finds election officials vulnerable to cyberattacks Intel community returns final Russia report volume to Senate after declassification review MORE (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerGOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe Hillicon Valley: Facebook removes Trump post | TikTok gets competitor | Lawmakers raise grid safety concerns Senate Intel panel approves final Russia report, moves toward public release MORE (D-Va.), who have led the panel's Russia probe.

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The committee previously released four other volumes that examined election security, Russia's disinformation campaign, the Obama administration's handling of Russian interference and the committee's review of the intelligence community assessment.

One day before the classification announcement, Burr announced that he was temporarily stepping aside as chairman of the Senate panel amid an investigation into his stock trades made shortly before the coronavirus outbreak.

Burr said in a statement that the panel's work is “too important hindering it in any way.”

It is unclear who will take Burr's place in the interim.

The Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation will conclude after the panel spent more than three years examining the Kremlin's impact on the presidential race between President TrumpDonald John TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation MORE and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Top federal official says more details coming on foreign election interference The Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  MORE.

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It will be the last investigation into the 2016 election to wrap up, following former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's investigation that ended last year and the House Intelligence Committee's probe which concluded in 2018.

Mueller's probe did not find evidence that members of the Trump campaign coordinated or conspired with Russia during the 2016 election, but he did not make a determination either way as to whether Trump obstructed justice. The former FBI chief's report extensively detailed years-long, multi-pronged attacks by Russia to sow discord in the U.S. through cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns.