On January 6, 2017, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) issued a report by directors of America’s leading intelligence agencies examining Russian activities in the 2016 election. One of their key conclusions was that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign with the goals of undermining public faith in the U.S. democratic process, harming the candidacy and weakening the potential presidency of Hillary Clinton, and boosting the candidacy of his preferred candidate Donald Trump.
Interference in America’s democracy and our electoral process by any outside power is unacceptable. Following the election, many Americans still have questions about the extent of Russian interference, including whether any individuals connected with the Trump campaign may have been involved with Russian efforts to sway the election.
As Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on intelligence, Senator Warner is leading, along with Committee Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina, the Senate’s bipartisan investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He has said repeatedly that this is the most serious undertaking of his public life.
The dismissal of FBI Director Jim Comey, who was leading an active investigation into these matters, on May 9 makes it all the more imperative that Congress conduct an expeditious, thorough and bipartisan investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
This isn’t about re-litigating the results of the 2016 election. It’s about defending the United States from a foreign threat, holding the perpetrators responsible, and fighting back so that something like this never happens again.