The Senate Intelligence Committee is calling for a government-wide effort to prepare for a Russian intervention in the 2020 presidential election. The timing of the report, however, undermines its message.
The day after all of the committee’s Republican members voted to acquit the president of charges that he covertly sought the help of a foreign government for his 2020 campaign, the committee called on Trump to “put politics aside” and marshal “all the resources of the U.S. Government to effectively confront the threat.”
The committee said:
The President of the United States should take steps to separate himself or herself from political considerations when handling issues related to foreign influence operations. These steps should include explicitly putting aside politics when addressing the American people on election threats and marshalling all the resources of the U.S. Government to effectively confront the threat.
There is little possibility that Trump will follow the committee’s recommendation;. In the past year, Trump has tweeted 12 times about what he calls the “Russia Hoax.” After a majority of the House of Representatives and 48 Senators concluded that Trump’s Ukraine actions were a threat to the election, Trump claimed “VICTORY.“
The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) needs to take a leading role, the committee said, another unlikely development.
The DNL as the country’s senior intelligence representative, should provide a regular, apolitical assessment of foreign intelligence threats to U.S. elections, including clandestine foreign influence campaigns. prior to regularly scheduled federal elections.
That too seems unlikely. Last September acting DNI Joseph Maguire declined to make an apolitical assessment of foreign threats. Maguire, named to his position after Trump fired Dan Coats, rejected he recommendation of his Inspector General and refused to forward an “urgent” whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s clandestine effort to enlist Ukraine’s help in the 2020 election. The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel also sought to block the whistleblower’s complaint from reaching Congress.
Read the whole report here.