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.
VOLUME 1 – RUSSIA DID ACCESS THE U.S. ELECTION SYSTEM
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.
VOLUME 2 – RUSSIAN GOALS TO HELP TRUMP AND THE OTHER METHODS OF INTERFERENCE USED
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.”
VOLUME 3 – U.S. GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO ELECTION INTERFERENCE
How the elected U.S. government responded to the intelligence reports of Russian attacks on our election.
VOLUME 4 – U.S. INTELLIGENCE AGENCY RESPONSE
The methods and findings of the Intelligence Community are investigated, supported and justified.
VOLUME 5 – RUSSIAN CONNECTIONS WITHIN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN
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.