Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Russian Interference

The report was the result of a bipartisan investigation that lasted three and a half years, examined more than a million documents and took evidence from over 200 witnesses

As we said, it’s the final volume (volume five) of the inquiry reports, and comes in at 966 pages

It documents extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives in the months before the 2016 election

And concludes that Russia meddled in that elections and continues to do so

Key takeaways from the document include:

A demonstration of strong links between Trump’s then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Konstantin Kalimnik, who we now know to be a Russian Intelligence Officer

  • Relationship was longstanding

  • Outgrowth of Manafort’s relationships with Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs

  • The report records Manafort’s willingness to share information with Kilimnik, as well as Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch and industrialist, and that it represented a “grave counter-intelligence threat”

The report also documents a robust network between Roger Stone, Julian Assange, Wikileaks and members of the Trump campaign

  • Trump campaign was unabashedly enthusiastic about Wikileaks releasing weaponised campaign information, which we now know was obtained by Russian intelligence services — and what we’re talking about there is the collection of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails stolen by hackers operating under the pseudonym “Guccifer 2.0”, but working for the FSB

  • Stone was directly in contact with Trump, promising additional information useful to the campaign, and that the campaign welcomed this information

But there were other conclusions that don’t necessarily back an anti-Trump narrative:

This report differs from Mueller report in that it

  • Didn’t look at criminality, but rather at counter-intelligence concerns

  • Deems Mueller report focussed too narrowly on criminality

Called the Steele Dossier into question, suggesting the FBI might have been the victim of a disinformation operation. In fact, the 1,000 page document is riddled with references to the Steele Dossier

And, the Report doesn’t use the word “collusion”

— but here it’s worth noting that the acting Chair of the Intelligence Committee, since May of this year, has been conservative Republican Marco Rubio. (What I mean by pointing that out is that Rubio has come in at the tail end of the report, with a strong level of influence over the contents.) 

Despite that, the report does conclude that Russian interference in the US election is ongoing, and that it’s vital that the public position themselves as informed information consumers.

I’ll also note there’s extensive information throughout the document about Cambridge Analytica, the Steele Dossier, and links between the Trump campaign and several foreign countries and international organisations, but at 995 pages, I might have to save an in-depth analysis for another episode