- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday released a bipartisan report affirming the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election with the goal of electing President Trump.

“The committee found no reason to dispute the Intelligence Community’s conclusions,” Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican and the panel chairman, said in a statement.

Tuesday’s report falls in line with a January 2017 assessment produced by the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and others. That assessment, put together in the final weeks of the Obama administration, detailed covert Russian operations designed to put Mr. Trump in the White House.

Mr. Trump and his allies have long disputed those accusations, dismissing claims of Russian assistance as a “hoax” peddled by Democrats to undermine his presidency. Republicans have alleged the 2017 report overstated Russian efforts.

Tuesday’s report undercuts those claims.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” the report said.

“Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the report continued.

Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat and the panel’s vice chairman, said the Intelligence Community’s 2017 report was “unbiased and professional.”

“The [Intelligence Community] correctly found the Russians interfered in our 2016 election to hurt Secretary Clinton and help the candidacy of Donald Trump. Our review of the highly classified ICA and underlying intelligence found that this and other conclusions were well-supported,” the Virginia Democrat said.

The report comes as U.S. Attorney John Durham enters the final stretch of his probe reviewing the origins of the Russian investigation. Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday Mr. Durham’s conclusions will not be revealed imminently but said he’s “very troubled” by what Mr. Durham has shown him so far.

The report released Tuesday is the fourth installment of the committee’s comprehensive review of the 2016 election. A fifth volume is expected to be released later this year.

Mr. Burr and Mr. Warner said the report should be viewed as a warning with the next presidential election mere months away.

“With the 2020 presidential election approaching, it’s more important than ever that we remain vigilant against the threat of interference from hostile foreign actor,” Mr. Burr said.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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