On the first day of the new Congress, Senate Republican leadership decided that they would not move forward with a comprehensive investigation into Russian hacking and the 2016 presidential election. The decision comes days after President Obama expelled several Russians for their role in the intrusion that sought to sway the election to Donald Trump, and a government report sourcing the hacking to elements in the Vladimir Putin government.
A bipartisan group of senators had sought to initiate the inquiry, but were shut down by a majority of Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Instead individual committees – Armed Services, Foreign Relations, and Intelligence – will take a piecemeal approach to investigating the role of a foreign government in meddling in the American election.
Multiple U.S. intelligence agencies believe that hackers, at the direction of Russian president Vladimir Putin, were behind the operation that stole emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and passed them on to WikiLeaks, who leaked them to the entire world.