House intelligence chairman: There’s no need for further investigations into Russian hacking

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Rep. Devin Nunes talks to reporters.
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Thomson Reuters

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee broke with Senate leadership in saying there’s no need for another investigation into Russian interference in the US presidential election.

Rep. Devin Nunes said Monday that further investigations would be redundant. Nunes is a member of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team.

“The House Intelligence Committee is conducting vigorous oversight of the investigations into election-related cyber attacks,” he said in a statement. “At this time I do not see any benefit in opening further investigations, which would duplicate current committee oversight efforts and intelligence community inquiries.”

Earlier on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he backed calls for a congressional investigation into Russia’s involvement in election-related hacking.

“Obviously, any foreign breach of our cybersecurity measures is disturbing, and I strongly condemn any such efforts,” McConnell said at a press conference.

The Kentucky Republican said the Senate Intelligence Committee was “more than capable” of conducting an investigation into the matter.

In a Monday letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Nunes also asked that Clapper, along with the CIA and FBI, brief the House Intelligence Committee on the intelligence community’s current assessment of Russia’s involvement in the US election.

“Media articles published over the last several days have highlighted supposed analytic disagreements within the Intelligence Community (IC) over alleged Russian cyber activities relating to the recent US Presidential election,” Nunes wrote in the letter.

“Such articles have stated, among other claims, that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) have developed conflicting intelligence assessments and delivered to Congress ‘divergent messages’ regarding the Russian govemment’s alleged cyber attacks connected to the election.”

The Washington Post and The New York Times reported on Friday that an assessment by the CIA concluded that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump’s presidential bid.

Internal emails from members of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, were leaked online throughout the campaign.

Trump has been reluctant to pin blame for the hacks on Russia. In an interview that aired on “Fox News Sunday,” he called the claim “ridiculous” and “just another excuse” for Clinton’s surprise loss last month.

Allan Smith contributed to this report.