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House, Senate In Different Directions On Russia Interference

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — House and Senate investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election are going in different directions.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is holding its first hearing on the matter Thursday.

“The American public, indeed all Democratic societies need to understand that line actors are using old techniques with new platforms to undermine our democratic institutions,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC).

The committee says Russians employed thousands of hackers to spread misinformation on social media and to hack into Democratic emails.

“The Kremlin made effective use of its hacking skills to steal and weaponize information and engage in a coordinated effort to damage a particular candidate,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA.)

Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee said the investigation into Russian interference is not political.

“The vice-chairman and I realize that if we politicize our efforts then they will likely fail,” said Burr.

They’ve requested interviews with 20 people, including the president’s son-in-law and Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner.

The camaraderie on display in the Senate Intelligence Committee stands in stark contrast to the stalled investigation in the House Intelligence Committee.

Embattled House Committee Chairman Devin Nunes insists he will not step down despite Democratic calls for him to do so because they say he’s too close to the White House to conduct a fair investigation.

Nunes said he hopes to resume interviewing people next week and wants the Democrats to join him.

“We’ll continue to work through this and we hope that they’ll – I think that they’ll be active participants.  That would be my guess,” said Nunes.

Nunes is supposed to meet with Adam Schiff – the ranking Democrat on the committee – to discuss how to move forward.

House Speaker Paul Ryan tells CBS News he has full confidence in Chairman Nunes’ ability to conduct an investigation. Speaker Ryan is the man who would have to make the decision to initiate an independent investigator which is what Democrats and at least one Republican are calling for.

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