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Rep. Mike Conaway on NBC’s Meet The Press this morning. Photo: William B. Plowman / NBC / NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who's leading the House Intelligence Committee through the Russia investigation, tells Axios he's worried Vladimir Putin could "test some things" in the 2018 midterm elections that he "would want to fully develop and blow out in a bigger way... in the presidential [election] in 2020."

What he's thinking: Conaway, previewing the Republicans' coming findings and recommendations during an interview in his Capitol Hill office, said that given the Russians used a nerve agent in Britain and penetrated the U.S. power grid, he doesn't "put anything past this guy [Putin]."

  • Conaway laid out one of his nightmare scenarios: "As an example, if they got into the voter registration data and planted a cyber bomb to go off at 7 a.m. on Election Day, they'd scramble that information." 
  • "So when the people went to the polls to vote, it's like, 'Whoop.  No, you're not registered.  We don't have your name.'  Well, think of the chaos that would create at a point where it would be really difficult to reset it, to not having it."

What's next: The House Intelligence Committee expects to release some of its findings from the Russia investigation on Thursday. And they also expect to release some of their recommendations to better secure the U.S. electoral system against foreign enemies.

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Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
11 mins ago - World

Biden's blinking red lights: Taiwan, Ukraine and Iran

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Russia is menacing Ukraine’s borders, China is sending increasingly ominous signals over Taiwan and Iran is accelerating its uranium enrichment to unprecedented levels.

The big picture: Ukraine, Taiwan and Iran’s nuclear program always loomed large on the menu of potential crises President Biden could face. But over the last several days, the lights have been blinking red on all three fronts all at once.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two with the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Indianapolis mass shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns, police say

Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

The suspected gunman in this week's mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased two "assault rifles" believed to have been used in the attack, police said late Saturday.

Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI told news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.