WASHINGTON, D.C. - During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) questioned top intelligence about Russia's hacking of the U.S. presidential election. The committee received testimony from Director of the National Intelligence James Clapper, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan, Director of the National Security Agency Michael Rogers, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey.
The text of Senator Heinrich's opening statement is below:
Thank you Mr. Chairman, and thank you to our witnesses. Attribution of responsibility in cyber-attacks is the first key step toward imposing a cost on those involved. Since a number of us wrote to the President in November asking that more information on Russian interference in the presidential election be declassified, the four of you and your respective agencies have done important work in making as much of your findings public as possible.
To those who criticize these investigations as partisan, I’d remind them that Russia didn’t do this to help the Republican candidate; Russia did this to help Russia and to weaken America. And therein lies the heart of why this is so important; because in the next election, the shoe could easily be on the other foot and a foreign power could decide it wants a Democrat to win. Both scenarios are deeply offensive, and foreign influence in our elections is intolerable no matter which party benefits in any given election.
The ongoing efforts of Russia to impact U.S. elections threatens to undermine faith in our democratic systems--which is precisely their goal--and it’s critical that they pay a price for their actions.