Senate GOP Blocks Resolution Supporting US Intelligence Community

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

Republican Sen. John Cornyn shot down the resolution, brought by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Chris Coons (D-DE).

A Thursday attempt by Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Chris Coons (D-DE) to pass a resolution in support of the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusions on Russian election interference was blocked by Republican Senator John Cornyn, according to The Hill.

Flake and Coons tried to pass the bipartisan resolution by unanimous consent, requiring the approval of every senator, but Cornyn objected.

"It is purely a symbolic act and what we need to do is ... do the hard work that senators have to do through the regular order," Cornyn said from the Senate floor.

He added that committees "ought to be permitted to call the witnesses and ask the hard questions and develop the record before we go on record as to a resolution like this."

The resolution was brought in light of President Donald Trump’s Monday comments during his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which Trump deferred to Putin’s denials over his own intelligence community’s assessment.

Flake blasted Trump's rhetoric during the Helsinki summit, calling it an "Orwellian moment."

"To reject these findings – and to reject the excruciatingly specific indictment against 12 named Russian operatives in deference to the word of a KGB apparatchik – is an act of will on the part of the president," Flake said.

He added that that the "choice now leaves us contemplating a dark mystery. Why did he do that? What would compel our president to do such a thing?"

Included in the resolution — which Flake and Coons said they intend to raise again in the future — are the following items:

The resolution agrees with the intelligence community's findings that the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 election and that Russia should be held accountable; calls on the administration to fully implement the sanctions against Russia that Congress passed last year; and urges congressional oversight "including prompt hearings and the release of relevant note and information" so Congress can understand the Helsinki, Finland, summit.

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