To investigate Russia’s impact and interference in the 2016 election, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee will hear testimonies from three former intelligence chiefs. The hearing will be held on May 16.
According to a press release issued by committee chairman Richard Burr, the hearing will include former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Chief John Brennan, and former NSA Director Mike Rogers. The assessment released by the NSA, CIA, and FBI concluded that Russian military intelligence provided hacked information from the Democratic National Committee and senior Democratic officials to the website, WikiLeaks.
Former FBI director James Comey who was unceremoniously fired by President Trump has also been invited. Comey, however, hasn’t confirmed his attendance.
According to a recent report by The Hill, Burr said that the team will most likely wrap up its investigation in August.
President Trump has always called the investigation a “Witch Hunt.”
On May 7, Trump took to Twitter to lambast the Democrats looking into Russian interference.
“The 13 angry Democrats in charge of the Russian Witch Hunt are starting to find out that there is a court system in place that actually protects people from injustice…and just wait ’till the courts get to see your unrevealed conflicts of interest!” he said on Twitter. He also said that the “Russia Witch Hunt” is rapidly losing credibility.
“The House Intelligence Committee found no collusion, coordination, or anything else with Russia. So now the probe says OK, what else is there? How about obstruction for a made-up, phoney crime?” he asked.
Russia too has repeatedly denied the allegations of interference, calling the accusations absurd.
However, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke out in March, Facebook’s investigation revealed that Russians had indeed weaponized Facebook to influence the minds of the American people. The social media giant, in its recent press release, confirmed that they deactivated several fake accounts created by the Russia-backed Internet Research Agency (IRA).
Moreover, a January 2017 review, conducted while President Barack Obama was still in office, found that Russia had interfered in the months leading to the election to hurt presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump.