Why I conclude that the 2016 Election Result is Invalid Based on the Republican Senate Intelligence Report on Russian Interference

The Senate Intelligence Committee conducted an investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 election. At the conclusion of the investigation the Republican Senators issued a five volume report in pieces and at various dates over the past few years. The report received relatively little attention due to the busy news cycle headlines.

Because Republicans control the Senate, the Senate Intelligence Committee is led by Republicans who controlled the release of the report. We presume that Republicans have no motivation to publicize the report findings or act on their findings in a way that might hurt Trump’s chances of re-election.

The full text of the first volume of the Senate report is available online here. Volume 2 is here. Volume 3 is here. Volume 4 is here. Volume 5 is available here.

This blog post summarizes the findings of the report. I wrote this summary so that I would have a clear basis of recall the findings of the Senate report. In this age where facts are deliberately blurred for political purposes and memory is less than perfect, this is important. My notes and quotations are based almost entirely on writings of Heather Cox Richardson. The notes support my overall conclusion.


Russians successfully breached U.S. election system security in 2016. “Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple U.S. state or local electoral boards,” but the Department of Homeland Security “assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.” The section on Russian attacks on voting machines is almost entirely redacted so we still do not know those details.


Russians “sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election by harming Hillary Clinton’s chances of success and supporting Donald Trump at the direction of the Kremlin” and “in 2016, Russian operatives… used social media to conduct an information warfare campaign designed to spread disinformation and societal division in the United States. Masquerading as Americans, these operatives used targeted advertisements, intentionally falsified news articles, self-generated content, and social media platform tools to interact with and attempt to deceive tens of millions of social media users in the United States. This campaign sought to polarize Americans on the basis of societal, ideological, and racial differences, provoked real world events, and was part of a foreign government’s covert support of Russia’s favored candidate in the U.S. presidential election.”


How the elected U.S. government responded to the intelligence reports of Russian attacks on our election.


The methods and findings of the Intelligence Community are investigated, supported and justified.


Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort was actively working with a Russian intelligence officer who was a longtime business associate in Ukraine.


The Republican Senate report does not conclude that the results of the 2016 presidential election are invalid. As a user of the Senate report, I do reach that conclusion that the result was invalid.

Blink Review: “The Un-Trumping of America: A plan to make America a democracy again” by Dan Pfeiffer

This is a review of the Blinkist text and audio of “The Un-Trumping of America: A plan to make America a democracy again” by Dan Pfeiffer. This is the summary excerpt:

“Despite everything that Donald Trump has done during his time in the White House, he’s not the biggest threat to American democracy. Dan Pfeiffer believes that the Republican party as a whole – now thoroughly shot through with “Trumpism” – is a much greater and longer-term threat. The Democratic party needs to respond to this threat with fresh energy and ambitious, visionary plans.

Actionable advice: 

Get involved in politics.

It’s tempting to feel disillusioned by politics – or that you’re too insignificant to make a difference. Well, now is frankly not the time to feel like that. There are all sorts of steps you can do to support change in the political process, from proudly expressing your political affiliations online to donating money. Don’t forget – the presidency isn’t the only show in town. So much politics happens on a smaller scale than that: there’s always something to get involved with. Could you even run for office yourself?”

One of the author’s strongest positions is that the damage done to the Supreme Court by denying Justice Garland will cause a loss of public respect and support by Americans for decades to come. He feels this requires a retaliatory and corrective action. He lists possible corrections for this and the other damaging actions to ensure that this cannot ever happen to us again.

I am now clear that my most effective contribution is offering accounting and governance services to organizations that can make a difference. I helped launch a handful of new nonprofit groups this past year, also launched a political action committee and acted as campaign treasurer to three candidates. I’ve ruled out running as a candidate myself. The projects I’m most concerned about focus on educating and registering voters for mail-in balloting. I’ve distanced myself from Trump supporters and would not knowingly support, serve, hire or allow a Trump supporter as a guest in my home or businesses.

Making sure that my Republican Party can never allow this to happen again by registering and enrolling more voters in mail-in voting options is the best thing I can do as the first step on this long road to recovery.