Democrats Call For Sept 11-Style Commission To Probe Russia

Congressional Democrats, and by extension the now concluded Clinton campaign, refuse to end pointing fingers for the turmoil rocking the Democratic party (and/or take responsibility) and instead Democratic members of Congress are trying to compare the "Russian hacking of the elections" to the Sept. 11 terrorist event, and called on Monday for the creation of an independent commission to probe Russia's attempts to intervene in the 2016 election, similar to the Sept. 11 panel that probed the 2001 attacks on the United States. Of course, it took some 15 years for the true, unredacted findings of that particular panel to finally emerge, when the extent of Saudi involvement in the Sept 11 attacks was finally revealed, leading to the Sept 11 legislation allowing Americans to sue Riyadh for terrorism on US soil.

According to Reuters, the proposed "Protecting our Democracy Act" would create a 12-member, bipartisan independent panel to interview witnesses, obtain documents, issue subpoenas and receive public testimony to examine attempts by Moscow and any other entities to influence the election. The panel members would not be members of Congress. The latest legislation proposal is one of many calls by lawmakers to look into Russian involvement in the presidential contest whose outcome stunned so-called experts. Republicans also kept control of the Senate and House of Representatives by larger-than-expected margins.

U.S. intelligence agencies on Friday released a report saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to help Trump's electoral chances by discrediting Clinton.

"There is no question that Russia attacked us," Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told a news conference.

Actually there is, however when asked to show evidence of Russian hacking, yesterday the state department said it would be "irresponsible."

Versions of the bill were introduced in both the Senate and House. In the Senate it has 10 sponsors. In the House it is backed by every member of the Democratic caucus, said Representative Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee.

However, the bill may end up going nowhere as no Republicans currently back the bill, so its prospects are dim, given Republican control of both houses of Congress. Furthermore, as Trump aide Kellyanne Conway said, any attempts by Obama to escalate tensions with Russia in his last week in office will likely fail as the new administration may seek to roll back Russian sanctions.

While a few Republicans, notably Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, have supported calls for an independent probe, party leaders have resisted the idea, saying that investigations by Republican-led congressional committees are sufficient, perhaps sensing that Trump would hardly back such an aggressive overture against the Kremlin.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, who just returned from a trip to the Baltic states, Ukraine and Georgia with Graham and McCain, said Russia's actions justified a probe by an independent panel of national experts.

"This is not just about one political party. It's not even about one election. It's not even about one country, our country. It is a repeated attempt... around the world, to influence elections," Klobuchar said.

Alas, what it really is, is an ongoing farce, and a continuing attempt by Democrats, and those close to the Clintons, to avoid taking blame - after all none of the materials revealed by the hacks were false - for the loss to Trump, and instead to continue casting blame at others.