The House Intelligence Committee is nearing an agreement with the nation’s intelligence agencies for full access to the information that underlay the recent classified report on Russian efforts to interfere in last year’s presidential election. Among the information the committee hopes to gain access to is any evidence that implicates Russian President Vladimir Putin in ordering the hacks of Democratic National Committee computers and the email account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. In a report delivered Jan. 6 to then-President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump, the FBI, CIA and the National Security Agency said Putin had personally ordered the hacks as part of an effort to damage Clinton’s presidential campaign. During the course of the campaign, the agencies concluded, Putin’s emphasis changed to helping Trump win election.
The report also said Russian military intelligence had passed the materials pirated from the Democratic computer systems to WikiLeaks, something WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denied.
How the intelligence agencies reached those conclusions was not spelled out in an unclassified version of the report that was made public by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. But the evidence undergirding the conclusions was provided in detail, according to news reports, in a longer, classified version. That evidence reportedly included eavesdropped conversations capturing Russian officials celebrating Trump’s victory on election night.
Having access to that information will allow the House of Representatives committee to offer a more authoritative version of events. Under the agreement, however, none of the intelligence information will be made public.