09:39 GMT13 August 2020
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    Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner spoke to reporters on Tuesday afternoon to discuss their investigation into allegations that Russia attempted to interfere with the US presidential election.

    Burr, a Republican, announced that seven staffers are working full time on the probe, compared to three on the Benghazi investigation. He also stated that they have been provided an “unprecedented amount of documents,” and claimed that they are “within weeks” of completing their review of those documents, and are requesting more.

    The chairman also stated that they have requested interviews with 20 people, and that a number of individuals have volunteered to be interviewed. The only person to be publicly identified as being interviewed in the investigation is Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, though no date has been set for his questioning, as they have not yet determined the scope of what needs to be asked."

    "This one's one of the biggest investigations that the Hill has seen in my tenure here,” Burr said.

    For his part, Warner, a Democrat, speaking on Russia, asserted that an “outside foreign adversary sought to hijack our most critical democratic process, a presidential election." He added that "some of the techniques Russia uses would send a chill down anyone who believes in the democratic process."

    Though the senators admitted that they have not yet gone through all of the information, the Democratic senator seems to have already convicted Russia in his mind.

    "Russia's goal, Vladimir Putin's goal, is a weaker United States," Warner stated.

    When asked about collusion between now-US President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, Burr asserted that it “would be crazy to try to draw conclusions from where we are in this investigation.”

    A reporter asked the senators whether they would be interviewing Christopher Steele, author of the widely criticized “golden showers” dossier, and Burr declined to answer.

    "We're not going to tell you who is on our list. I can assure you it's lengthy,” Burr responded.

    Burr also confirmed that the House and Senate investigations will remain completely separate.

    "We're not asking the House to play any role in our investigation, and we're not going to play a part in theirs,” he said.

    Warner also cited “fake news” about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s health as evidence of meddling, complaining that Russian media outlets, specifically Sputnik News and RT, come up at the top of several election-related Google searches. He also claimed that Russian “troll” or “bot accounts” targeted key electoral states and influenced voters.

    The lawmakers stated that they hope the investigation will be completed before the 2018 elections.


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    Election, Senate Intelligence Committee, Donald Trump, Mark Warner, Richard Burr, United States, Russia
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