Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., rejected calls from a bipartisan group of senators to create a select committee on cyberattacks to investigate possible Russian interference in the American election.
From Washington Examiner
McConnell, in a sit-down interview with Kentucky Educational Television that aired Monday night, called the allegations of Russian hacking “a serious issue” but one that “doesn’t require” a special committee to run the inquiry. He also suggested that only one panel, the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate, needs to focus on such an investigation.
“We have a Senate Intelligence Committee and a House Intelligence Committee, run by knowledgeable, responsible people,” he said. “There’s no question that the Russians were messing around in our election. It is a matter of genuine concern and it needs to be investigated.”
“In the Senate, we’re gonna investigate that in what we call regular order,” he said, noting that regular order means committees charged with oversight of the numerous U.S. government intelligence agencies should run the probe into Russian hacking.
“I think our Senate Intelligence Committee under Sen. [Richard] Burr and Sen. [Mark] Warner of Virginia are fully capable of handling this,” referring to the chairman and the ranking Democrat on the panel.
Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, R-S.C., along with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and the incoming minority leader, as well as Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., signed a letter calling for a select committee to investigate the allegations of Russian hacking.
McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, and Reed, its ranking member, argued that cyber-security is a “cross-jurisdictional challenge” that cuts across the turf of many congressional panels, including theirs. All four senators also warned against the investigation into the hacks becoming a partisan issue.
Only McConnell has the power to decide whether to form a new committee.
McConnell, while expressing concern about the Russia hacking, also made the point that no one has proven yet that Russia was trying to change the outcome of the election to ensure that Trump won the presidency.
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