We know it's President's day today, so let's try to find out more about him, starting with Russia. The story of Russia and Trump will continue to evolve and deepen over the next few weeks. You may have felt assured by reports of a Senate Intelligence committee investigation taking place, and that is surely good news, but we wanted to explain here what this means and what other avenue of investigation is worth demanding.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is a standing committee that has taken the lead into the Russia inquiry because it has the widest authority to look into all of the executive branch’s intelligence agencies. But it does not traditionally operate in a bi-partisan manner - Republicans on committee have full control over all subpoenas that get issued, which witnesses (if any) are compelled to testify, and which records have to be preserved during the investigation. The committee also operates behind closed doors, doing most of its work in secret.
While this is certainly a step in the right direction, a more aggressive and independent investigation would happen with the creation of a bi-partisan select committee. This committee would be solely devoted to the investigation and would give both parties equal power, with public hearings, and transparency regarding findings.
Democrats have backed down from asking for the select committee, but we need to put pressure on them to still demand it. The senate intelligence committee will conduct the bulk of it's inquiry in private, the way many Republicans want it, shielding Trump from any revelations in the media until they make a conclusion.