US lawmakers want documents on Russia election probe

Russian woman feeds her baby watching the live broadcast of the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States in Moscow, Russia, on Jan 20, 2017.
Russian woman feeds her baby watching the live broadcast of the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States in Moscow, Russia, on Jan 20, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee called on the Trump administration on Wednesday (Jan 25) to provide them with what they expect will be thousands of documents related to the investigation of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.

The request may be an effort to avoid a repeat of an unusual document access arrangement made between the Senate Intelligence Committee and CIA to review information related to enhanced interrogation techniques at secret overseas "black site" prisons during the George W. Bush administration.

Under that arrangement, Senate investigators were limited to reviewing documents on a shared computer network set up at a Central Intelligence Agency facility, which later led to accusations the agency had spied on the work of congressional staffers.

"It will not be adequate to review these documents, expected to be in the thousands of pages, at the agencies. They should be delivered to the House Intelligence Committee to provide members adequate time to examine their content," Representatives Devin Nunes, the committee's Republican chairman, and Adam Schiff, its top Democrat, said in a joint statement.

They said they expect "prompt" responses to requests for documents.

 

US intelligence agencies contend that Moscow waged a multifaceted campaign of hacking and other actions to boost Republican President Donald Trump's election chances against Democrat Hillary Clinton last year.

Trump has worried lawmakers, mostly Democrats but also some Republicans, by dismissing such claims and criticising intelligence agencies for raising them. They have demanded special committees to investigate, but Republican congressional leaders said they would leave that work to existing committees.

Trump's fellow Republicans control majorities in both the Senate and House.

The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Mark Warner, issued a statement late on Tuesday saying their committee was also moving forward with its investigation.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any attempt to help Trump win.