Washington DC – Friday– (07-26-2019) – New York Institute for foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA): The Senate Intelligence Committee has released its long-awaited bipartisan report on the 2016 presidential election in regards to security and Russian interference. The report is 67 pages long and is heavily redacted. The Senate panel, which has been investigating interference for more than two years, released a summary version of its election security findings in May 2018. The report found that “the Russian government directed extensive activity, beginning in at least 2014 and carrying into at least 2017, against U.S. election infrastructure at the state and local level.”
The chairman of the committee Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) both released statements on the report. Burr stated: “In 2016, the U.S. was unprepared at all levels of government for a concerted attack from a determined foreign adversary on our election infrastructure. Since then, we have learned much more about the nature of Russia’s cyber activities and better understand the real and urgent threat they pose. The Department of Homeland Security and state and local elections officials have dramatically changed how they approach election security, working together to bridge gaps in information sharing and shore up vulnerabilities. The progress they’ve made over the last three years is a testament to what we can accomplish when we give people the opportunity to be part of a solution. “There is still much work that remains to be done, however. I am grateful to the many states that provided their points of view, which helped inform our recommendations. It is my hope that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan report will provide the American people with valuable insight into the election security threats still facing our nation and the ways we can address them.”
Vice Chairman Warner shared: “When the Russians attacked elections systems in 2016, neither the federal government nor the states were adequately prepared. Our bipartisan investigation identified multiple problems and information gaps that hindered our ability to effectively respond and defend against the Russian attack in 2016. Since then – and in large part as a result of the bipartisan work done on this issue in our Committee – the intelligence community, DHS, the FBI, and the states have taken steps to ensure that our elections are far more secure today than they were in 2016. But there’s still much more we can and must do to protect our elections. I hope the bipartisan findings and recommendations outlined in this report will underscore to the White House and all of our colleagues, regardless of political party, that this threat remains urgent, and we have a responsibility to defend our democracy against it.”
The committee also vowed to release further volumes of investigative findings which examined the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian election interference in 2016, looked into how the Obama administration responded to that foreign interference, and analyzed the role that social media disinformation campaigns played in that interference. The impending report on social media is being reviewed for declassification, and the committee says it intends to release its remaining installments this fall. The committee said the future reports will also answer “remaining counterintelligence questions.” In its press release, the Senate Intelligence Committee said that its investigation “has spanned more than 15 open hearings, more than 200 witness interviews, and nearly 400,000 documents.”
NYCFPA takes election security extremely seriously and will continue to report on future findings.