burr-warner-briefing

Today Senator Richard Burr and Senator Mark Warner, chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Intelligence Committee gave an overview of what the committee has found.

Here are some high points via Twitter.

Here are additional points to mull over.

The committee accepted the Intelligence Community’s assessment that Russia had tried to interfere in the 2016 election. What they did not accept was the John Brennan concocted assessment that the Russians were favoring a candidate. Rather they seem to be back to where the assessment was in October 2016 that the Russian objective was to sow discord and confusion.

Burr stopped short, however, of giving a complete endorsement of the Obama-era report, which claimed that Russia had intervened on behalf of Trump. The committee has not come to a conclusion on Russia’s preferences, he said, only that Moscow intended to sow “chaos on every level.”

Via Axios:

“Russian interference was to create chaos at every level,” not targeted at the right or left, Burr said. “Given we’re standing here 9 months later, it seems they were pretty successful.”

They specifically said the Facebook ads did not favor any particular candidate and said Facebook is free to release them but, as a matter of policy, the committee does not release any documents.

One issue they looked at in detail was the decision by the GOP to change draft language on Ukraine from supporting lethal aid to the Ukraine government to a more neutral stance. They say they have concluded that inquiry but don’t give any hint about what they concluded.

What does all this mean? It seems that thus far the committee has dug a dry well but there are still leads to follow. The Steele Dossier remains an unknown quantity and without the assistance of the author it will remain so. Why anyone thinks Mr. Steele would agree in the future to be interviewed by the committee when he has refused so far is a mystery.