Heinrich Questions Witnesses During Hearing On Russian Interference In The 2016 Election

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 30, 2017) – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) asked a series of questions during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence open hearing related to the Committee’s investigation into Russian intelligence activities. The hearing, Disinformation: A Primer in Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaigns, consisted of two panels to provide a foundational understanding of Russian active measures and information operations campaigns. The first panel examined the history and characteristics of Russia’s attempts to influence politics in other countries; the second panel examined the role and capabilities of cyber operations in support of these activities.

“I believe it’s critical that we dig into the financial aspects involved, and that we follow the money to determine whether the Russians have tried to use financial leverage to achieve their strategic goals,” said Senator Heinrich. “We need to do everything possible to get to the truth. The American people deserve nothing less. If we do not take this seriously, it is not hyperbolic to say that our fundamental democratic institutions are at risk.”

VIDEO: Panel I – Heinrich questions witnesses on using money to recruit “agents of influence,” March 30, 2017

VIDEO: Panel II – Heinrich questions witnesses on Russian interference techniques and capabilities, March 30, 2017

Earlier this week, Senator Heinrich delivered a speech on the Senate floor to outline the facts on the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Senator Heinrich has led efforts to hold the Trump administration accountable and ensure the American people get the answers they deserve. In addition to today’s hearing, Senator Heinrich questioned top intelligence officials about Russian interference in the presidential election during a January Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. He also helped lead the effort to declassify the intelligence assessment that Russian hacking and propaganda efforts were aimed at the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

A list of witnesses and testimony, and the archived webcast of today's hearing will be available here.

Senator Heinrich’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery during the hearing today are below:

I’d like to begin by thanking both the Chairman and the Vice Chairman for their willingness to work together on leading this investigation.

While today’s hearing is helpful for setting a baseline for the intentions and techniques of Russia’s active measures campaigns, I look forward to public hearings in which we can dig deeper into the substance of what happened in the 2016 election. Similarly, I believe it’s critical that we dig into the financial aspects involved, and that we follow the money to determine whether the Russians have tried to use financial leverage to achieve their strategic goals.

We need to do everything possible to get to the truth. The American people deserve nothing less. If we do not take this seriously, it is not hyperbolic to say that our fundamental democratic institutions are at risk.