A bipartisan Senate investigation into Russia’s election attack in 2016 just issued a series of bone-chilling, factual conclusions on the eve of the 4th of July holiday.
Three top American intelligence agencies issued a damning report called an Intelligence Community Assesment on January 6th, 2017, before Donald Trump was inaugurated. In that document, the FBI, NSA, and CIA all concluded that the Russian president Vladimir Putin directed the Kremlin to help Donald Trump and to disparage Hillary Clinton.
The Committee finds that the Intelligence Community met President Obama’s tasking and that the ICA is a sound intelligence product.
While the Committee had to rely on agencies that the sensitive information and accesses had been accurately reported, as part of our inquiry the Committee reviewed analytic procedures, interviewed senior intelligence officers well-versed with the information, and based our findings on the entire body of intelligence reporting included in the ICA.
An affirmation by the Senate Intel panel is no small feat. Only a week after the intelligence community’s assessment came out, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA) jointly announced the panel’s investigation into the ICA, which means that the investigation has stretched on over eighteen months.
But the Senate found that the FBI, CIA, and the NSA were dead on when they pointed the finger at Putin, citing state-run operations like the Internet Research Agency and their legions of paid trolls and agitprop social media posters.
Most importantly, today’s report validates the intelligence agencies’ conclusion that notorious DNC email hacker Guccifer 2.0 was a tool of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency.
However, one of the Senate Intel committee’s key conclusions just put out the fires of a thousand Republican conspiracy theories in just two paragraphs.
The panel wrote definitively that the dossier by the same ex-MI6 British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who busted FIFA’s soccer corruption that sent the World Cup to Russia, was not used to form the conclusion that Putin helped Trump, or anything else.
The FBI had a collection of reports a former foreign intelligence officer was hired to compile as opposition research for the U.S. election, referred to as the “dossier,” when the ICA was drafted.
However, those reports remained separate from the conclusions of the ICA. All individuals the Committee interviewed verified that the dossier did not in any way inform the analysis in the ICA- including the key findings – because it was unverified information and had not been disseminated as serialized intelligence reporting
In fact, the only major fault that the Senate’s investigation found with the intelligence community’s assessment is that they could’ve gone much farther in providing some of the extensive unclassified data about Russian intelligence operations against America’s political parties. They wrote:
The ICA failed entirely to summarize historic collection by U.S. agencies as well as extensive open-source reporting – significant elements of which are derived from Russian intelligence archives – to present a more relevant historical context.
Then on October 7th, 2016 during the election, the Obama administration released a report concluding that Russia was interfering heavily in the elections, only after Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he didn’t believe the intelligence reports that Republicans were getting tons of help from Putin, when he must’ve known they were.
That night, Washington Post journalist David Fahrenthold released the Access Hollywood tape story, revealing that Donald Trump had confessed to casual sexual assault while on a bus with Billy Bush.
Only thirty minutes after the Access Hollywood tapes broke, Wikileaks coincidentally released a massive batch of stolen emails from the Clinton campaign chairman.
Stories about stolen Democratic emails ultimately dominated mainstream news headlines with stories about gnocchi recipes but exposed little to nothing about the obvious policy differences between the Democratic candidate and the Republican dictatorial demagogue.
Americans deserve answers about Russia’s election attack to help Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
Today’s report by the Senate Intelligence panel is a massive leap towards exposing the truth about the Kremlin’s preference for Donald Trump in the White House on the eve of a summit meeting where he’s expected to deliver major concessions to Russia, while Republican Senators are in Moscow kowtowing to Putin this very minute.
Read the complete Senate Intelligence committee report here: