- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2018

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Friday they plan to revive a non-binding resolution that failed to pass this week and that would have put the chamber on record as supporting the intelligence community and its findings that Russian interfered in the 2016 election.

Sens. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, and Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, said they will not be deterred after GOP leaders torpedoed their effort this week.

“This needs to be passed—the Senate needs to speak,” Mr. Flake said in a statement.

Mr. Coons said he is certain that a “bipartisan majority of Senators from both parties believe that we must speak clearly and together to support our intelligence and law enforcement communities and state unequivocally that Russia’s attacks on our democracy will not be tolerated.”

Mr. Flake and Mr. Coons offered up the non-binding resolution after President Trump stood beside Russian President Vladimir earlier in the week and rejected the findings of U.S. intelligence regarding Moscow’s election tampering.

Mr. Trump also passed on the chance to rebuke Mr. Putin for Russia’s hacking. He later clarified his remarks.

The resolution from the two senators commends the Department of Justice for the investigation that led to the recent indictment of Russian officials and reaffirms that Russian must be held accountable.

It also calls for the full implementation of sanctions that Congress passed last year and hearings aimed at getting to the bottom what Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin discussed behind closed doors.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, Texas Republican, blocked the measure on Thursday, arguing the effort was symbolic and that these sorts of efforts should be hashed out through the Senate committees process.

Mr. Flake, who is not seeking re-election, said Friday “symbolism is important.”

” This simply says, in a symbolic way, that we in the Senate don’t buy Vladimir Putin’s rejection or denial of election interference,” Mr. Flake said. “We here in the Senate should say: we stand with our intelligence community. Our agencies of government need to know that we stand behind them.”

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