The Senate Intelligence Committee may miss its target for making election security recommendations to states facing potential Russian disruption during the midterms — but its GOP chairman is eyeing a contingency plan. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and the panel’s Democratic vice chairman, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, have long eyed next week’s first congressional primaries as their ideal date to release election-protection recommendations. The intelligence committee’s counsel to states would amount to the first formal fruits of their yearlong bipartisan investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Burr told POLITICO Wednesday that he remains “hopeful” of getting the election-security recommendations out before Texas holds its March 6 primary. But he acknowledged that despite the progress made at a staff level, “it’s reasonable to believe that we can’t have it declassified” in time for a wide release.
Even so, Burr added, “that’s not to say that we can’t take from a classified document and write a comprehensive overview that we can share with states.”
“[I[f I don’t believe we’re going to make it — and it’s tough to believe that we can make it for Texas right now — then we may verbally call the states and share with their election folks what we might make as recommendations,” Burr said, with the caveat that he has yet to discuss that approach with Warner.