Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said Monday that he does not intend to launch an investigation into the election-related hacking by Russia. Politico reports:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), a close ally of President-elect Donald Trump, said in a statement that a new probe would “duplicate” other actions already being taken by the intelligence community. Instead, his panel will monitor the already existing investigations being run by various intelligence agencies, he said — and keep a close eye on the Obama administration’s final report on Russian meddling, due out in late January.
“At this time I do not see any benefit in opening further investigations, which would duplicate current committee oversight efforts and Intelligence Community inquiries,” Nunes, a member of Trump’s transition team, said in the statement. “We will also closely oversee the production of the report on these attacks requested by President Obama to ensure its analytical integrity.”
Earlier, House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement on Twitter crediting Nunes work on cyber threats posted by foreign governments and warning against politicizing the issue:
Our Intelligence Committee has been working diligently on cyber threats to the US. This important work will continue & has my support. pic.twitter.com/FvcyVi4vMz
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 12, 2016
Ryan’s statement isn’t shy about blaming Russia and Putin for intervention in the election, but the latter part of his statement seems to be aimed at Democrats looking to delegitimize the outcome of the election. A spokesman said this morning that Ryan’s statement should be read as an endorsement of a probe by the House Intel. Committee:
@EamonJavers yes, goodness, but also that this work has already been taking place. Folks should stop acting like HPSCI has ignored this.
— Brendan Buck (@BrendanBuck) December 12, 2016
The Hill and Talking Points Memo both reported Ryan supported an investigation, but it seems in retrospect he was only leaving that decision to Rep. Nunes. Politico reports that Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff has already criticized Nunes decision saying, “Russian meddling during our presidential election merits a bipartisan, joint investigation by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.”
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell embraced the idea of a Senate probe earlier Monday saying, “the Russians are not our friends.”