The GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee has a present for your corn'tine reading pleasure, and it is the fourth installment of its ongoing report on the Russian attack on the 2016 election. This one is 158 pages long and heavily redacted, because Russia's attacks are ongoing — you are keeping a hawkish eye out for that right now, especially during this global pandemic, yes? — so you should be able to read it real quick if you wanna.

The big takeaways are that the Committee finds the intelligence community's January 2017 assessment (ICA) of the Russian attack to be a "sound intelligence product"; that the intelligence community was correct that Russia attacked American democracy, on Vladimir Putin's orders, in order to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump; and that you can stick your whining about the Steele Dossier all the way up your whiny ass, DONALD, because it didn't have shit to do with the ICA of Russia's attack prepared at the end of 2016 for President Barack Obama. (The intel committee had already confirmed some of this in an interim report in mid-2018.)

The committee also found that there was no political pressure on any of the agencies to reach the conclusions they reached. They simply did their damn jobs.


The intelligence presented supports the judgment that the Russian campaign "demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations."

This is followed by a long, heavily redacted section about Vladimir Putin's role in the attacks, determining that that the evidence supports the conclusions that "President Putin approved and directed aspects of this influence campaign"; "supports the assessment that Putin and the Russian government demonstrated a preference for candidate Trump"; and that "Moscow sought to denigrate then-candidate Clinton."

As for the Steele Dossier, the incessant Fox News/Trump/GOP lie about the Russia investigation and the IC's assessment of the Russian attack is that it was somehow all predicated on unverified claims from the dossier of raw intel compiled by British spy Christopher Steele. Recently, the Department of Justice Inspector General determined definitively that the dossier was not the reason the Russia investigation was started at the FBI. Now, the GOP-led Senate Intel Committee finds that the dossier intel was not in any way the meat of the ICA, and that it was added to the ICA only as an appendix, because the FBI just felt like everything they had should be in there, "even though the Assistant Director suggested that 'the FBI didn't want to stand behind it.'"

The Committee reports that GOP committee chair Senator Richard Burr later asked former FBI director James Comey about the inclusion of the dossier in the IC assessment, and this is what he said:

I insisted that we bring it to the party, and I was agnostic as to whether it was footnoted in the document itself, put as an annex. I have some recollection of talking to [former CIA director] John Brennan maybe at some point saying: I don't really care, but I think it is relevant and so ought to be part of the consideration.

Mighty Deep State plot right there. Meanwhile, the NSA didn't even touch the dossier in arriving at its conclusions about Russia's attack for Trump. So much for fucking that particular cow, Devin Nunes.

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden added some of his own thoughts to the end, just to underline some of the things we just told you, in case they weren't yelling BULLSHIT loud enough at Trump's face already. Here are a couple of his thoughts:

The findings are not a "hoax." They are not in doubt because, as Donald Trump stated, Vladimir Putin "very strongly" denies them. Russian interference in the 2016 election is a fact and Donald Trump's deference to Putin only serves to further Russian disinformation and undermine efforts to defend the United States against ongoing attacks.

Reminder: WE STILL DON'T KNOW FOR SURE THAT DONALD TRUMP IS NOT A RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE ASSET.

Back to Wyden, with an update on Trump's batshit belief that Ukraine stole the hacked DNC server and buried it in the Ukrainian backyard next to the Ukrainian koi pond:

This report also provides additional evidence against Donald Trump's false assertions regarding Ukraine. For example, the Committee conducted an extensive examination of the intelligence demonstrating Russia's intrusions into DNC networks. That review, which confirmed the ICA's findings, is fundamentally incompatible with Trump's conspiracy theories about Ukrainian involvement, for which there is no supporting evidence of any kind.

Oh that reminds us, there is a Senate Intel Committee report locked in a cabinet somewhere that details how the committee has looked into all Trump's Ukraine/Biden conspiracy theories and found them to be warmed-over horseshit. Wonder when we'll see that report!

One final thought before we leave: We've been noting recently just how willing Trump and his GOP lackeys have been to throw GOP Senator Richard Burr under the bus, with his questionable (LOL) grifty grafty nonsense and his maybe (haha) insider trading off the impending coronavirus. And of course, part of that is that they know they can sacrifice him to the wolves, because if he had to resign, Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper would, by law, have to nominate a Republican to take his place.

But we've also had a sneaking suspicion this whole time that part of it is the same line of retribution Trump has been meting out to every other person who dares speak the truth about Russia's reacharound in getting him elected, and more recently, about his attempts to get the same reacharounds for 2020 from Ukraine.

Burr just keeps signing his name to these Committee reports, though. Something to think about.

But later, because now it is your OPEN THREAD.

[Senate Intel Committee Russia Report, Vol. IV]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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