Senators Collins, King Issue Statements on Final Report of Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on which Senators Susan Collins and Angus King serve, released the fifth and final volume of the Committee’s bipartisan Russia investigation titled, Volume 5: Counterintelligence Threats and Vulnerabilities.” The report examines Russia’s attempts to gain influence in the American political system during the 2016 elections.


The Committee’s investigation totaled more than three years of investigative activity, more than 200 witness interviews, and more than a million pages of reviewed documents. All five volumes total more than 1,300 pages.


“Volume 5 of SSCI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election cycle is an exhaustive look into Moscow's multifaceted effort to collect intelligence on the major parties and to undermine the public’s confidence in the electoral process,” said Senator Collins.  “According to the intelligence community, our government and political parties are much better prepared for foreign interference efforts than in 2016, but additional action must be taken to safeguard our elections, the cornerstone of our democracy.  This is why, for example, I cosponsored the Foreign Influence Reporting Elections (FIRE) Act, the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act, and the Secure Election Act, as well as supported an additional $425 million in election security funding in the FY20 budget.  Completion of all five volumes in a bipartisan manner is a testament to the bipartisan traditions of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.  I believe all five volumes, but especially Volume 5, will serve for our government and historians as a critical, fact-based account of the events surrounding the 2016 election.”


“As we approach the 2020 elections, the results of our bipartisan investigation into Russia’s campaign to interfere in our democratic process should be a wake-up call for all Americans,” said Senator King. “This report provides clear and unambiguous facts about the Trump campaign and how it opened the door to a devastating Russian active measures operation. For example, it shows that Paul Manafort, Chairman of the Trump Campaign at the time, was in close contact with an operative of the Russian government and shared detailed internal polling data that may have offered demographic targets for Russia’s bots and disinformation. It also shows that Mr. Manafort was not the only member of the Trump campaign that made our country vulnerable to foreign interference; although denying it at the time, Candidate Trump, his family, and some of his closest advisors had entered into personal and business entanglements with Russian oligarchs and other influencers that made them prime counterintelligence targets. Many of these same vulnerabilities still exist today.


“This is why this report serves as a rear-view mirror but also a possible view of the road ahead of us as we enter another election cycle. The fact is that the findings of the committee -- supported on a bipartisan basis – matter more at this moment in time than ever before,” Senator King continued. “Rather than disavowing this threat, President Trump and his inner circle have denied the unambiguous facts laid out in the report and, inexplicably, continue to take actions that support the aims and ambitions of Vladimir Putin. Rather than passing commonsense legislation to require political campaigns to report to the appropriate authorities contacts from foreign nationals, the President and his allies have blocked these efforts from being added to the NDAA and becoming law; indeed the President himself has expressed an openness to foreign interference in a news interview from the Oval Office. And as the Intelligence Community assessed just a few weeks ago, Russia has updated its playbook and is now targeting Vice President Biden with its active measures – including through proxies who are spreading rumors to denigrate Biden and boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media. Mark Twain once said that history doesn’t always repeat itself but it often rhymes, especially for those who refuse to learn its lessons. We must learn from our past in order to prepare Americans for these ongoing efforts to undermine our democracy – this November and in the years ahead.”


You can read “Volume 5: Counterintelligence Threats and Vulnerabilities” here.


Read the Senate Intelligence Committee’s previous reports: