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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 BurrPortman planned exit sets off Ohio free-for-all Portman won't run for reelection On The Money: Biden extends eviction moratorium, student loan forbearance | Stocks hit record highs on Biden's first day as president | Justice Dept. closes insider trading case against Burr MORE (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerModerates vow to 'be a force' under Biden The next pandemic may be cyber — How Biden administration can stop it Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief 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 TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSenate to vote Tuesday on Biden's secretary of State pick Portman planned exit sets off Ohio free-for-all Biden must wait weekend for State Department pick 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) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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.