The Slatest

Obama, McCain Plan Further Russia Hack Investigations

John McCain and Lindsey Graham on Sept. 2, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

One of the more vexing problems Democrats and other Trump critics face is the question of how to actually, like, actually do anything about anything at all given that Republicans who appear ready to roll over and let the president-elect get away with pretty much whatever he wants run both chambers of Congress. Per recent news, though, two of the formal governmental mechanisms that do remain outside Trump/Trump apologists’ control will be used in coming months to investigate the ways in which Russian email hacking and other sabotage may have contributed to his victory.

1. President Obama, one of his top security advisers said Friday, is ordering the American intelligence community to conduct a “full review” of Russian electoral interference to be completed before Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The adviser—Lisa Monaco—said that the review will culminate in “a report to a range of stakeholders, including Congress,” though it’s not clear how much of said report will be made public.

2. The Washington Post reports that Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham—who were both personally attacked by Trump during the presidential campaign—“are preparing to launch a coordinated and wide-ranging probe into Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. elections and its potential cyberthreats to the military.” McCain says he will launch an investigation under the auspices of the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which he is chairman, and notes to the Post that he considers the disruption of the election “a national security issue.” Graham, who is a member of that committee and the chairman on its subcommittee on crime and terrorism, told CNN that he will be “going after Russia in every way you can go after Russia.”

Obama, obviously, leaves office in slightly more than a month. But individual senators like John McCain will still retain considerable authority to conduct investigations and hold hearings that might make the executive branch and even GOP party leaders uncomfortable.

Trump, for his part, told Time in a story published this week that he is still not convinced Russia was involved in 2016 email hacking. “It could be Russia. And it could be China,” Trump told the magazine. “And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”