With its House counterpart imploding thanks to the late-night excursions and executive coziness of its chairman Devin Nunes, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee soldiers on in its investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
After the bombshell that the Trump campaign is in fact under FBI investigation dropped during the early moments of the House Select Intelligence Committee’s last open hearing, what happens next is anyone’s guess. Thursday’s Senate hearing lacks the star power of a high-ranking intelligence official like James Comey, but interviews with both scholars and cybersecurity experts should create some context around Russia’s disinformation efforts, “focusing on a primer in Russian active measures and influence campaigns.”
The day will be divided into two separate panels, with a morning focus on “the history and characteristics” of Russian campaigns, and the afternoon on “the role and capabilities of cyber operations in support of these activities.”
The first panel will feature Eugene Rumer, director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Georgetown Professor of Government Emeritus Roy Godson and Clint Watts, a senior fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s program on national security.
The afternoon will take a turn toward tech, with testimony from FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia and retired general and IronNet Cybersecurity CEO Keith Alexander. Alexander was previously the director of the NSA.
Today in remarks about the committee’s ongoing investigation, Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner revealed that they have a list of 20 witnesses they plan to bring in.
“We anticipate inviting additional individuals to come and be interviewed, and ultimately some of those interviewed individuals may turn into private or public hearings by the committee,” Burr said. “It would be safe to say we have had conversations with a lot of people, and it would be safe to say [former Trump National Security Adviser] Gen. Flynn is a part of that list.”