2016 elections, Former NSA Director General Keith Alexander, Open hearing, Putin, Russia, Russian interference elections, Senate Intell hearing, Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Burr, Senator Warner, US Senate
“MARCH 30, 2017
Russian Intelligence Activities
The Senate Intelligence Committee hears testimony from several witness, including former NSA Director General Keith Alexander (Ret.), on Russian interference in the 2016 election and its capabilities to impact elections in other Western democracies.”
https://www.c-span.org/video/?426227-1/senate-intelligence-committee-examines-russian-interference-capabilites (If you miss it live, you should normally be able watch it later on c-span.)
The January Intell File: https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf
Senator Feinstein coment on it is here: https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?id=8B8DD016-A696-49FA-99C6-94FC201F2152
Today’s open hearing sounds more like theoretical pontification to pacify the masses. But, we will see. The public urgently needs facts and action, not more theoretical pontification. After the hearing outline is Senator Burr’s statement as to what they have accomplished thus far, which sounds like they have been working.
Date & Time:
Thursday, March 30, 2017 – 10:00am
Director of Russia and Eurasia Program
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Professor of Government Emeritus
Foreign Policy Research Institute Program on National Security”
Date & Time:
Thursday, March 30, 2017 – 2:00pm
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer and President
Press Conference regarding hearings:
“MARCH 29, 2017
Russian Election Interference The Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee held their first news conference since opening an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-NC) and Ranking Member Mark Warner (D-VA) both said the scope of the investigation would go where ever the intelligence led them. https://www.c-span.org/video/?426177-1/senate-intel-leaders-promise-follow-intelligence-russia-probe&start=57
Excerpt from mostly uncorrected closed caption of Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-NC) statement regarding the hearings: “SO, LET ME SHARE WITH YOU WHAT WE’VE ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE. WE HAVE DEVOTED SEVEN PROFESSIONAL STAFF POSITIONS TO THIS INVESTIGATION. THESE ARE STAFFERS WHO ALREADY HAD THE CLEARANCE AND ALREADY HAD THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE MATERIALS THAT THEY WERE GOING TO LOOK AT THAT STARTED ON DAY ONE. NOW, WHAT WAS DAY ONE? DAY ONE WAS THE FIRST PUBLIC HEARING THAT THE COMMITTEE HELD WITH DIRECTOR CLAPPER, DIRECTOR COMEY, ADMIRAL ROGERS, AND DIRECTOR BRENNAN. WHEN THEY CAME TO THE UNITED STATES SENATE TO TESTIFY ON THE COMPLETION OF THE I.C.A. THE REPORT OF THE LAST ADMINISTRATION ON RUSSIA’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE ELECTIONS. THE FULL COMMITTEE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO ASK EVERY ONE OF THE FOUR I.C. MEMBERS INITIAL QUESTIONS. THINGS THAT WE KNEW TO ASK AS OF THAT TIME. LET ME ASSURE YOU THAT AS THIS INVESTIGATION CONTINUES, WE WILL CERTAINLY GIVE THOSE INDIVIDUALS AT LEAST ONCE, IF NOT MORE, OPPORTUNITIES TO COME BACK EITHER IN OFFICIAL CAPACITY OR IN A RETIRED CAPACITY, TO COME BACK AND SHARE WITH US ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WE MIGHT HAVE. THE STAFF HAS BEEN PROVIDED AN UNPRECEDENTED AMOUNT OF DOCUMENTS. THOSE DOCUMENTS INCLUDE DOCUMENTS THAT UP TO THIS POINT HAVE ONLY BEEN SHARED WITH THE GANG OF EIGHT AND STAFF DIRECTORS ON THE HOUSE AND SENATE SIDE. IT’S SAFE TO SAY THAT OUR STAFF CURRENTLY IS WORKING THROUGH THOUSANDS OF RAW INTELLIGENCE AND ANALYTIC PRODUCTS TO, ONE, DETERMINE WHETHER THE PROCESS THAT THE REVIEWERS WENT THROUGH TO COMPILE THEIR REPORT WERE IN AGREEMENT WITH — WE’RE IN AGREEMENT WITH. AND TO SEE IF OUR CONFIDENCE LEVELS ON THEIR RATINGS OF LOW, MEDIUM OR HIGH CONFIDENCE IN FACT MATCH. TO DATE, AS I SAID, THEY’VE BEEN PROVIDED THOUSANDS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS AND HAVE REVIEWED TO DATE MAJORITY OF THOSE DOCUMENTS. WE’RE WITHIN WEEKS OF COMPLETING THE REVIEW OF THOSE DOCUMENTS. I MIGHT SAY THAT WE’RE IN CONSTANT NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ABOUT ACCESS TO ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS, TO WHERE WE ACCESS THOSE DOCUMENTS, TO HOW OUR STAFF NOTES ARE KEPT, AND WHETHER IN FACT WE HAVE THE CAPABILITIES WITHIN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY SPACES TO USE COMPUTERS. THIS IS NOT ABNORMAL. IT’S BEEN INVOLVED IN EVERY INVESTIGATION I’VE SEEN IN THE 17 YEARS I’VE BEEN IN THE HOUSE OR SENATE COMMITTEE. SO I DON’T FIND THIS TO BE UNUSUAL, BUT IT IS CHALLENGING TO SAY THE LEAST. IT DOES NOT YET INCLUDE THE ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS THAT THE COMMITTEE HAS REQUESTED AND OTHERS THAT WE WILL REQUEST, TO ENABLE US ULTIMATELY TO COME TO SOME FINALITY, FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE MISSION OF THIS INVESTIGATION. THIS WEEK WE BEGIN TO SCHEDULE OUR FIRST INTERVIEWS. TO DATE WE HAVE MADE 20 REQUESTS FOR INDIVIDUALS TO BE INTERVIEWED BY THE COMMITTEE. AS WE STAND HERE TODAY, FIVE ARE ALREADY SCHEDULED ON THE BOOKS. AND PROBABLY WITHIN THE NEXT 10 DAYS, THE REMAINING 15 WILL HAVE A SCHEDULED DATE FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS TO BE INTERVIEWED BY OUR STAFF. WE ANTICIPATE INVITING ADDITIONAL INDIVIDUALS TO COME AND BE INTERVIEWED. AND ULTIMATELY SOME OF THOSE INTERVIEWED INDIVIDUALS MAY TURN INTO PRIVATE AND PUBLIC HEARINGS BY THE COMMITTEE. BUT YET TO BE DETERMINED. THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE VOLUNTEERED TO BE INTERVIEWED. LET ME ASSURE YOU THAT THEY WILL BE PROCESSED AS THE COMMITTEE DETERMINES WE’RE READY TO CONDUCT THOSE INTERVIEWS. OR IF THEY’RE EVEN PERTINENT TO THE ISSUES THAT WE NEED TO LOOK INTO. THE ONLY INDIVIDUAL WHO PUBLICLY HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED TO DATE IS JARED KUSHNER. AND THE COMMITTEE WILL CONDUCT AN INTERVIEW WITH MR. KUSHNER WHEN THE COMMITTEE DECIDES THAT IT’S TIME FOR US TO SET A DATE BECAUSE WE KNOW EXACTLY THE SCOPE OF WHAT NEEDS TO BE ASKED OF MR. KUSHNER. TOM’S HEARING, WHICH WILL BE THE FIRST PUBLIC HEARING THAT WE’VE HELD, IS TO EXAMINE RUSSIAN CAPABILITIES, THEIR CAPABILITIES TO INFLUENCE ELECTIONS GLOBALLY, WHAT RUSSIA HAS DONE IN THE PAST, WHICH IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO BRING TO LIGHT FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WHAT THEY’RE DOING TODAY BOTH HERE AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHAT WE SHOULD EXPECT FOR FOUGHT TOTURE. WE’VE GOT — FOR THE FUTURE. WE’VE GOT TWO PANELS, TWO HOURS IN THE MORNING, TWO HOURS IN THE AFTERNOON. TO LOOK AT SPECIFICALLY THE POLICIES THAT WE THINK RUSSIA IS IMPLEMENTING AND TO LOOK AT THE TECHNOLOGIES THAT DISPLAY THEIR CAPABILITIES. I WOULD CONCLUDE WITH THIS, THEN I’LL TURN IT OVER TO MARK. WE’LL ALWAYS SAY TO YOU THIS INVESTIGATION SCOPE WILL GO WHEREVER THE INTELLIGENCE LEADS IT. SO, IT IS ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL THAT EVERY DAY WE SPEND TRYING TO SEPARATE FACT FROM FICTION, AND TO FIND SOME INTELLIGENCE THREAD THAT SENDS US TO THE FACTUAL SIDE OF ALL THE NAMES AND ALL THE PLACES THAT YOU IN THIS ROOM HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT. JUST THE FACT THAT YOU SAY IT DOESN’T MEAN THE FACT. IT’S INCUMBENT ON OUR STAFF AND ON OUR MEMBERS TO IN FACT CONNECT THAT INTELLIGENCE THREAD TO THAT, FOR US TO MAKE SOME DETERMINATION AS TO THE RELEVANCE OF IT IN OUR INVESTIGATION. SO, MARK AND I WORK HAND IN HAND ON THIS. AND CONTRARY TO MAYBE POPULAR BELIEF, WE’RE PARTNERS TO SEE THAT THIS IS COMPLETED AND THAT WE’VE GOT A PRODUCT AT THE END OF THE DAY THAT WE CAN HAVE BIPARTISANSHIP IN SUPPORTING. Read more and/or listen here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?426177-1/senate-intel-leaders-promise-follow-intelligence-russia-probe&start=57
Joint Statement on Committee Inquiry into Russian Intelligence Activities
WASHINGTON – Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today issued a joint statement regarding the Committee’s inquiry into Russian intelligence activities:
“As part of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s oversight responsibilities we believe that it is critical to have a full understanding of the scope of Russian intelligence activities impacting the United States.
In the course of its regular work, the Committee conducts oversight of the Intelligence Community’s collection and analysis related to Russia; however, the October 7, 2016, joint statement on election security from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), combined with the declassified Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of “Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” raise profound concerns.
The Committee will, therefore, conduct a bipartisan inquiry of the intelligence reporting behind the Intelligence Community assessments from January 6, 2017 on this subject.
The scope of the Committee’s inquiry will include, but is not limited to:
* A review of the intelligence that informed the Intelligence Community Assessment “Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections;”
* Counterintelligence concerns related to Russia and the 2016 U.S. election, including any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns;
* Russian cyber activity and other “active measures” directed against the U.S., both as it regards the 2016 election and more broadly.
The Committee plans to:
* Hold hearings examining Russian intelligence activity;
* Interview senior officials of both the outgoing and incoming administrations including the issuance of subpoenas if necessary to compel testimony; and
* Produce both classified and unclassified reports on its findings.
The Committee will follow the intelligence wherever it leads. We will conduct this inquiry expeditiously, and we will get it right. When possible, the Committee will hold open hearings to help inform the public about the issues. That said, we will be conducting the bulk of the Committee’s business behind closed doors because we take seriously our obligation to protect sources and methods. As the Committee’s investigation progresses, we will keep Senate leadership, and the broader body, apprised of our findings.
We have received assurance from the Director of National Intelligence that the Intelligence Community will fully and promptly support our requests for information related to the investigation, and we have every reason to believe that commitment will be honored by the incoming administration.
Majority Leader McConnell and Democratic Leader Schumer have made it clear they expect any investigation into Russia’s involvement in our nation’s elections to be conducted in a bipartisan manner. It is a charge the SSCI takes seriously, as bipartisanship—in fact, non-partisanship—is at the very core of the Committee’s charter and is essential to preserving the intelligence equities involved.”
In addition to the joint statement, the Senators offered additional comment separately.
“As I indicated in my December statement, the SSCI has focused a great deal of attention on Russia’s behavior around the world,” said Chairman Burr. “Over the last two years, we have held more than ten hearings and briefings on these issues, with four reviewing Russia’s so-called ‘active measures.’”
“The SSCI was established to oversee the intelligence activities and programs of the United States Government, and to ensure that the appropriate departments and agencies provided informed and timely intelligence to our nation’s leaders,” Burr added, “and part of our inquiry will necessarily be focused on what happened, and what didn’t happen, in this case.”
Of the investigation, Vice Chairman Warner said, “This issue impacts the foundations of our democratic system, it’s that important. This requires a full, deep, and bipartisan examination. At this time, I believe that this Committee is clearly best positioned to take on that responsibility, but whoever does this needs to do it right. If it turns out that SSCI cannot properly conduct this investigation, I will support legislation to empower whoever can do it right. That is my position now, and it will be my position for the duration of the investigation. I look forward to working with Chairman Burr on this tremendously important matter.” https://www.burr.senate.gov/press/releases/joint-statement-on-committee-inquiry-into-russian-intelligence-activities
“Senate Intelligence Committee to start Russia probe interviews next week” https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/gop-lawmaker-senate-should-take-lead-on-congresss-russia-investigation/2017/03/29/c31d0fb0-1485-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html