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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Senate Committee Backs Intelligence Community on Russian Interference

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign  The update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.  Russia is likely to make a similar effort this year.

A Tuesday release from the Senate Intelligence Committee:
Today, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) released a new report, titled “Review of the Intelligence Community Assessment,” the fourth and penultimate volume in the Committee’s bipartisan Russia investigation.
... 
Key Findings:

The Committee finds the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) presents a coherent and well-constructed intelligence basis for the case that Russia engaged in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Committee concludes that all analytic lines are supported with all-source intelligence, that the ICA reflects proper analytic tradecraft, and that differing levels of confidence on one analytic judgment are justified and properly represented. Additionally, interviews with those who drafted and prepared the ICA affirmed that analysts were under no political pressure to reach specific conclusions.
The Committee finds that the ICA reflects a proper representation of the intelligence collected and that this body of evidence supports the substance and body of the ICA. While the Intelligence Community did not include information provided by Christopher Steele in the body of the ICA or to support any of its analytical judgments, it did include a summary of this material in an annex —largely at the insistence of FBI’s senior leadership. A broader discussion of the Steele dossier will be included in the final volume of the Committee’s report.

The Committee finds that the ICA makes a clear argument that the manner and aggressiveness of Russia’s election interference was unprecedented. However, the ICA does not include substantial representation of Russia’s interference attempts in 2008 and 2012.
From the report (p. 47):
The Committee found that specific intelligence as well as open source assessments support the assessment that President Putin approved and directed aspects of this influence campaign. Further, a body of reporting, to include different intelligence disciplines, open source reporting on Russian leadership policy preferences, and Russian media content, showed that
Moscow sought to denigrate then-candidate Clinton.

Previous reports: