21:02 GMT29 November 2020
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    The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will investigate charges that the Russian government sought to help President-elect Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, according to committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will investigate charges that the Russian government sought to help President-elect Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr said in a press release on Friday.

    "The Committee will follow the intelligence wherever it leads," Burr stated in the release on Friday. "We will conduct this review expeditiously, but we will take the time to get it right and will not be influenced by uninformed discourse."

    Most of the review will remain classified, which aligns with the intelligence community's position on protecting methods and sources for collecting information, Burr added.

    However, he pledged that the committee would hold some open hearings to keep the public informed about the process.

    The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has concluded that the Russian government sought to help Trump win by releasing hacked emails to the whistleblower outfit WikiLeaks to embarrass the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.

    The White House took the allegations further this week, by naming President Vladimir Putin as the Russian campaign’s mastermind.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said repeatedly that tens of thousands of Clinton-related emails posted did not come from Russia.

    Russian officials have called the allegations groundless.

    Moreover, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) disagrees with the CIA conclusion that the Russian government wanted Trump to win, according to published reports.

    Burr said that the committee planned to "interview senior officials of both the outgoing and incoming administrations including the issuance of subpoenas if needed to compel testimony."

    In October, the United States intelligence community released a statement accusing the Russian government of conducting cyberattacks to influence the presidential campaign.

    The statement was signed by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

    FBI Director James Comey reportedly refused to sign the October statement.


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