“Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election” was the title of the subcommittee hearing Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley participated in on Monday afternoon.
While he says he’s no closer to drawing a conclusion on the topic, Grassley says testimony from former national intelligence director James Clapper was significant.
“There’s no doubt Russia tried to influence our elections, Clapper made that very clear,” Grassley says. “The point is, there’s no evidence that they did anything that changed the direction of the election as far as getting into computers and getting votes counter one way or the other.”
Grassley, a Republican, says another national security issue that concerns him — which is related to the alleged Russian actions — has yet to be addressed. “Who leaked it to the press, particularly The Washington Post?” Grassley says, “because when you leak classified information, it’s a felony and there needs to be prosecution.”
Clapper confirmed that British intelligence first contacted the U.S. government to say there were suspicious interactions between then-candidate Donald Trump’s associates and Russian spies. The Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism also heard testimony from Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general.
“Everybody’s worried about Russia interfering in our election,” Grassley says. “That is bad, but it also needs to have equal attention given to who did the leaking.” Yates refused to answer several questions from Grassley and others on the panel, because the investigation is still underway.
Grassley is calling for more “follow-up” that would produce more definitive answers.