February 06, 2020
Washington, D.C. – The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on which U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) serve, today released the third volume in the Committee’s bipartisan investigation into Russian election interference, “U.S. Government Response to Russian Activities.” The report examines the Obama Administration’s reaction to initial reports of election interference and the steps officials took or did not take to deter Russia’s activities.
Today’s installment is the third of five volumes in the Committee’s bipartisan investigation. The first volume, “Russian Efforts Against Election Infrastructure” was released in July 2019. The second, “Russia’s Use of Social Media,” was released in September 2019. The two remaining volumes will examine the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Russian interference and the Committee’s counterintelligence findings.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee is in the final phase of its bipartisan, three-year investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election and undermine our democratic institutions. Our comprehensive examination, which involved multiple public and closed hearings, interviews with more than 200 witnesses, and reviewing numerous documents, is crucial to understanding the threat Russia poses to our democratic system and the steps we should take to protect ourselves from foreign election interference,” said Senator Collins. “The third volume of our report reveals how our government was not prepared to face Russia’s election interference efforts and took an overly cautious approach in its response, resulting in interference efforts in 2016 that lasted well past the election. Since then, our government has made great strides to combat this threat, but it is clear that Russian interference remains very active. We must continue to be vigilant and redouble our efforts to secure our electoral process, the cornerstone of our democracy.”
“Today’s bipartisan report is an important analysis of the past that can help us protect our elections in the future – if we take the recommendations seriously,” said Senator King. “The report reiterates that Russia attempted to influence in the 2016 election, echoing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s previous reports as well as the findings of the Intelligence Community. With the benefit of hindsight, our Committee determined that there are numerous opportunities to better respond to the Russian activity centered on the 2016 election; now, we have that hindsight, and must put it to work to ensure the integrity of future elections. One key finding that is worth noting is the added difficulty of addressing these attacks in a highly-politicized environment. If we are to truly do everything we can to defend our democracy, all candidates and elected officials must be sure to put country over party and exercise significant restraint when it comes to questioning the validity of election results. In other words: if we begin undermining the electoral process because the vote totals don’t break in our favor, we’re letting our adversaries win.”
You can read “Volume III: U.S. Government Response to Russian Activities” here.
Key Findings and Recommendations: