Apr 24, 2017 - Politics & Policy

Partisan tug of war undermines Senate's Russia investigation

Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP

Partisan fighting over the Russia investigation could result in years of investigating before any conclusions are reached by the Senate Intelligence Committee, The Daily Beast's Tim Mak and Yahoo News' Michael Isikoff are reporting.

Sen. Martin Heinrich to Yahoo News: "I would like to see this moving more quickly."

A source told Yahoo News that Sen. Mark Warner, who is on the panel, is "not satisfied, with the pace of the investigation and he doesn't think it's moving fast enough."

What they've accomplished: Received access for 3 Republican aides and 2 Democratic aides to review the U.S. intelligence community's raw data, and interviewed intelligence analysts who concluded Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

What they haven't gotten done:

  • Questioned anyone suspected of colluding with Russia.
  • Requested emails, memos or phone records of the Trump campaign — the panel's Republican chairman, Richard Burr, won't sign letters from Democrats requesting the information.
  • Put any full-time staff on the case, or anyone with substantial investigative experience.
  • Set a deadline for acquiring documents related to the case, although they've requested they be preserved. There are signs Warner's patience is starting to wear thin. Warner "is not satisfied, with the pace of the investigation and he doesn't think it's moving fast enough," a committee source tells Yahoo News. "He would like to have seen more hearings and more interviews with witnesses."

Why it matters: These things always take a long time, but the pace is even slower than the investigation into the CIA's torture practices, which lasted years. With Democrats placing so much stock in the investigation, expect these stories to become more frequent.

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