Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, and an influential chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has plans to initiate a fresh review concerning the probability of the Russian Government hacking the United States elections. This move comes amidst President Elect Donald Trump’s own rejection of the issue. The Senator said that the committee would hold both classified sessions and open hearings to find the facts of the matter.
Corker said that there is no doubt that Russia waded into US domestic matters and admitted he has no knowledge whether the hackers wanted Trump to win the presidential election. The Senator said it is disappointing to see Putin getting a seat on the front stage when Russia as a country has little to show. He added that it is important to investigate any issue where an external power is trying to discredit the American democracy. He wanted to know the depths of foreign interference and the reality of whether they actually wanted Trump to be the President of the United States.
The committee set up by Corker will have to endure a hectic January. The month will begin with Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearings as Secretary of State. l. Corker, who was himself a contender for the Secretary post, praised Tillerson’s appointment. He called the latter an excellent choice for the job due to his extensive experience and background. Tillerson at present heads the oil behemoth ExxonMobil.
Not the only investigation
Corker’s investigation will not be the first. It is the third in line after Senator John McCain’s Armed Services Committee and Senator Richard Burr’s Select Committee. McCain and Burr are elected from Arizona and North Carolina respectively.
However, it is to be noted that all three reviews are inadequate and lack a distinct standing committee whose only job is investigating the hack. A standing committee is needed in matters where a thorough investigation is needed. Although powerful Republicans like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell back inquiries in the Congress existing committees, they have also not paid any heed to calls to establish an independent panel. This is because such an arrangement could start to undermine Trump in the political arena.
Corker has admitted that he knew little about Tillerson’s personal views concerning Russia. This factor has caused a number of concerns among a number of important Republicans who are not comfortable with the soon to be Secretary’s friendship with the Vladimir Putin.