Bob Graham wants Congress to set up 9/11 style panel to probe Russian meddling

Published Feb. 17, 2017

Former Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired a congressional investigation into 9/11, wants a similar approach for a probe into Russian interference.

Graham issued the following:

"After the horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11, the congressional leadership set aside political differences in a search for the truth. For the first time in more than 200 years, Congress merged two standing committees from different houses -- the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence -- into a Joint Congressional Inquiry. Due in large part to the experience of our members, their familiarity with the use of classified information and an independent staff, the Joint Inquiry wrote the first draft of the U.S. intelligence community's role in the events surrounding the tragedy. Our investigation discovered documentation and data that raised concerns about possible involvement of foreign individuals and sources of support for the hijackers."

"Fifteen years later, evidence is mounting that the Russian government attempted to influence the result of the 2016 election, including possible coordination with American campaign officials, and impact governmental action following the elections. Because of these attacks on our democratic process, I urge Congress to convene a new bicameral, bipartisan joint inquiry so the American people have a comprehensive account of what happened -- and what our government and other democracies which might be at risk can do to protect our electoral processes from covert foreign intrusion.

"The world is watching. If we do nothing, we will communicate that the United States is indifferent to outside interference in our political process. Inaction will empower the Russian government and other potential interlopers to act with impunity. With elections scheduled this year in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and other nations, the United States must immediately send a loud and clear signal that interference in democracy will not be tolerated."