Senate Intelligence Committee Adopts Final Russia Report, Working on Public Release

August 5, 2020 Updated: August 5, 2020

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) voted on Aug. 4 to approve the fifth and final volume of its report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The fifth report, which will cover the counterintelligence aspects of the committee’s inquiry, will cap-off one of the longest running Russia inquiries. 

“Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to adopt the classified version of the final volume of the Committee’s bipartisan Russia investigation,” SSCI Acting Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) said in a joint statement

“In the coming days, the Committee will work to incorporate any additional views, as well as work with the Intelligence Community to formalize a properly redacted, declassified, publicly releasable version of the Volume 5 report.”

The committee has already reached a bipartisan conclusion early last year that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Special counsel Robert Mueller reached the same conclusion after a 22-month investigation.

In four of the prior instalments of its Russia report, the committee covered Russia’s targeting of U.S. election infrastructure and use of social media, the U.S. response to the interference and the creation of the January 2017 intelligence community assessment on Russian interference.

The committee completed the fifth volume of the report on May 5. At the time, the unclassified version of the report was nearly 1,000 pages long. In the months since May, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) conducted a classification review of the material. The ODNI did not immediately respond to a question about when the classification review was completed.

Despite its hefty volume, the report is unlikely to look into the many problems with Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI’s codename for the investigation of the Trump campaign. SSCI operates under a bipartisan consensus and the Democrats are unlikely to agree to publicize the damning aspects of the probe, such as the bureau’s use of an unverified, Clinton campaign-funded dossier to obtain a secret court warrant to spy on a Trump campaign associate.

Despite years of investigations by the House, Senate, the Justice Department inspector general, the FBI and the special counsel, the keystone crime of the 2016 election—the theft and release of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails—remains shrouded in mystery and riddled with contradictions. 

Mueller alleged the emails were stolen during a hack on or around May 25, 2016. More than three weeks earlier, the DNC discovered hackers on its network and retained private cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to protect its systems. CrowdStrike told The Epoch Times earlier this year that “there is no indication that there was ever a breach on any DNC server or computer protected by CrowdStrike’s technology.”

The committee is likely on track to release the report before the Nov. 3 presidential election. The ODNI recently reminded Americans that China, Iran and Russia are actively working to undermine the election.

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