Senate Intel Committee May Use Subpoenas in Russian Hacking Investigation

Rep. Mike Pompeo offers a stark assessment of threats against the U.S.PlayABCNews.com
WATCH Trump's CIA Pick: 'Pretty Clear' Russia Was Behind Election Hacks

The Senate Intelligence Committee has announced an investigation into the Russian hacking scandal which has cast a pall over the 2016 election, lawmakers said Friday.

"As part of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s oversight responsibilities we believe that it is critical to have a full understanding of the scope of Russian intelligence activities impacting the United States," the statement said.

The U.S. intelligence community issued a report earlier this month saying that the Russian government and intelligence agencies, at the direction of the country's president, Vladimir Putin, waged a campaign in an attempt to influence the U.S. election.

Part of the campaign included cyber operations that targeted the Democratic National Committee, according to intelligence officials.

President-elect Donald Trump cast doubt on the intelligence community's assessment, only conceding this week that Russia was likely behind the hacking efforts.

According to the intelligence committee's statement, the body will be reviewing the intelligence that led the IC to its conclusion, any potential links between Russian and individuals in the political campaigns and Russian cyberactivity directed against the U.S. during the election and "more broadly."

The committee, which has subpoena power, led by Republican Richard Burr, of South Carolina, plans to interview members of both the Obama and Trump administrations.

"The Committee will follow the intelligence wherever it leads," the statement said. "We will conduct this inquiry expeditiously, and we will get it right."

Lawmakers from both political parties have expressed outrage over the suspected Russian activity.

"This issue impacts the foundations of our democratic system, it’s that important," Senator Mark Warner, D-Virginia, said. "This requires a full, deep, and bipartisan examination. At this time, I believe that this Committee is clearly best positioned to take on that responsibility, but whoever does this needs to do it right."