Senate Intelligence Committee chairmen, Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-N.C.), said Wednesday that the panel is still investigating whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, signaling that there is no immediate end in sight for the investigation, which they said has expanded far beyond its initial scope.
“The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion,” Burr told reporters. “I’m not even going to discuss initial findings because we haven’t any.”
“The issue of collusion is still open,” he added.
The Hill added:
In one significant development, they said committee members and staff have reached “general consensus” that they trust the intelligence community’s formal assessment that Russia launched a wide-scale disinformation campaign targeted at the 2016 election. That assessment was issued during the Obama administration.
President Trump has repeatedly insisted that the hack and release of emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) might not have been perpetrated by the Kremlin — a point on which intelligence officials have been unequivocal.
“The committee is satisfied that our involvement with this issue has reached a logical end as it relates to the Russia investigation,” Burr said. “This is not something that we’ve closed, but we have exhausted every person that we can talk to to get information that’s pertinent to us, relative to the Russia investigation.”
Burr said investigators have “hit a wall” in their review of the so-called “Steele dossier.”
“My hope is that Mr. Steele will make a decision to meet with either Mark and I or the committee, so we can hear his side of it versus for us to depict in our findings what his intent or what his actions were,” Burr said. “I say that to you, but I also say it to Chris Steele.”
Burr said that he hopes to finish their investigation by the end of 2017.
Over the course of nine months, the Senate Intelligence Committee has collected thousands of pages of documents and interviewed over 100 witnesses, with twenty-five witnesses booked to appear before the committee in the coming month alone.