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After Three Years Of Investigation, Senate Intel Has Completed Its Russia Report

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday submitted the fifth and final volume of its report on Russian interference in the 2016 election to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for a declassification review.

Sens. Richard Burr and Mark Warner, the chairman and vice-chairman of the committee, respectively, said that they have submitted a redacted and unclassified version of the report, which totals nearly 1,000 pages.

“It is our hope that ODNI can expeditiously review these documents so that the Committee can consider, vote on, and release the report as soon as possible,” the senators said in a statement.

The committee has investigated Russian interference in the election for more than three years.

The panel has released four installments of its full report dealing with the security of the U.S. election system, Russia’s social media disinformation and hacking operations, the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s activities, and the Intelligence Community Assessment released on Jan. 6, 2017.

Those reports have largely contained information that was previously disclosed in other investigations, such as the special counsel’s probe and the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian meddling.

The fifth volume of the Senate report deals with the counterintelligence portion of the probe. Senators have not provided further detail on which aspects of the counterintelligence investigation the report will address.

The FBI and special counsel’s office investigated whether members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to interfere in the election. The special counsel found no evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Kremlin.

More recently, the Justice Department’s inspector general revealed that the FBI had evidence that Russian intelligence operatives fed anti-Trump disinformation to Christopher Steele, the former British spy hired by Democrats to investigate Trump.

The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s dossier to obtain authorization to wiretap Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide. Numerous media outlets disseminated Steele’s unverified allegations, raising the possibility that Russian operatives spread false information about Trump through the ex-spy.

The Intelligence Committee has investigated various aspects of the dossier, and Burr has said in the past that he wanted to interview Steele.

The release of the final installment of the report may be one of Burr’s last acts as chairman of the Intelligence panel. He said on Thursday that he will step down as chairman, effective Friday, because he is under investigation for a series of stock trades he made in February.

Written by Chuck Ross

Chuck Ross is a contributor to The Schpiel.

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