US’ Senate Intelligence Panel agrees with intel agencies that Russia intervened in 2016 election to help Trump

By AP

(AP) – The United States’ Senate intelligence committee says it agrees with a 2017 assessment by intelligence agencies that Russia intervened in the presidential election earlier to hurt the candidacy of Democrat Hillary Clinton and to help Donald Trump.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said in a statement Wednesday that his staff has spent 14 months “reviewing the sources, tradecraft, and analytic work, and we see no reason to dispute the conclusions.”

That’s in contrast to the House intelligence committee, which agreed with the majority of the report but said last month that the agencies “did not employ proper analytic tradecraft” while assessing Russian president Vladimir Putin’s intentions.

Lawmakers on that committee said they agreed that Putin had wanted to hurt Clinton, but did not agree that meant he wanted to help Trump.

An attendee of the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting told congressional investigators he was “concerned” about discussing negative information about Hillary Clinton.

Ike Kaveladze told the Senate Judiciary Committee last year that he learned from an associate days before the sit-down that Russian pop singer Emin Agalarov mentioned the possibility of political dirt.

Kaveladze works for Agalarov’s father, a Russian developer who partnered with Donald Trump to host the Miss Universe contest in Moscow in 2013.

Kaveladze said he was troubled by the “morality and ethics of the situation,” more than potential legal issues.

He said he supported Clinton politically.

Kaveladze told investigators his concern was assuaged in a pre-meeting lunch with Russian lawyer Natalia Vaselnitskaya who said the Trump Tower meeting would strictly stick to the Magnitsky Act.

Donald Trump Jr. says he was “candid and forthright” in answering questions by the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Russia investigation.

The panel has released more than 1,800 pages of transcripts of interviews with Trump Jr. and others who attended a June 9, 2016, meeting with a Russia lawyer.

According to emails, Trump Jr. was promised dirt about Trump’s opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

In a statement Wednesday, Trump Jr. says “The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the committee.”

Trump Jr. thanked the members of the committee for “their courtesy and professionalism.”

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