Mitch McConnell says he won’t appoint a select Senate committee to examine the impact of alleged Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
OK. Fair enough, Mr. Majority Leader.
But let’s not allow these questions to wither and die now that your fellow Republican, Donald J. Trump, is about to become president of the United States.
We’ve got some questions that need clear, declarative answers.
What did the Russians do? How did they do it? Did their computer hacking efforts have a tangible impact on the election outcome? How in the world does the United States prevent this kind of computer hacking in the future?
If the majority leader were to ask for my opinion, I’d suggest that we need an independent commission that doesn’t answer to Senate Republicans or Democrats. We formed one of those after the 9/11 attacks and it came out with some serious findings about what went wrong and how we can prevent future terrorist attacks.
McConnell’s decision to nix a select committee is at odds with many Republicans — such as Sen. John McCain — along with Democrats are demanding. They want a select panel that would be tasked solely with looking at this most disturbing matter.
The new Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, said this, according to The Associated Press: “We don’t want this investigation to be political like the Benghazi investigation,” he said. “We don’t want it to just be finger pointing at one person or another.” Schumer added: “We want to find out what the Russians are doing to our political system and what other foreign governments might do to our political system. And then figure out a way to stop it.”
McConnell wants to hand this over to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Fine. Then allow them to clear the decks and concentrate on getting to the heart of what the Russians have done.
Seventeen intelligence agencies have concluded the same thing: The Russians intended to influence the presidential election. The president-elect has dismissed their conclusion, opening up a serious rift between his office and the intelligence community.
Trump and his team are virtually all alone in their view of this disturbing matter. Congress needs to get busy and tell us what the Russians did and when they did it.