Senate Intelligence Committee Orders Agencies and Individuals To Preserve Russia-Related Documents

Via the Associated Press:

The Senate intelligence committee has sent formal requests to more than a dozen organizations, agencies and individuals, asking them to preserve all materials related to a probe the panel is conducting on Russian interference in the 2016 election and related issues, a congressional aide said Saturday.

The committee chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and its vice chairman, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., sent letters out on Friday — the same day committee members received a classified briefing from FBI Director James Comey. Committee members declined to comment on what was discussed after the more than hourlong briefing.

The aide was not authorized to discuss the issue and spoke only on condition of anonymity

On Thursday, Senate Democrats wrote the White House and law enforcement agencies seeking assurances that they were preserving all materials related to contacts individuals associated with President Donald Trump had with Russians.

Congressional staffers have said that they are not aware of any evidence that materials are not being preserved, but Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Thursday on the Senate floor: “There is real concern that some in the administration may try to cover up its ties to Russia by deleting emails, texts and other records that could shine a light on those connections. These records are likely to be the subject of executive branch as well as congressional investigations and must be preserved.”

Contrary to what the Democrats are trying to make this out to be, it is not a big deal beyond confirming something we already knew, which is that the Senate Intelligence Committee is going to investigate the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. This order is to make sure that email and file servers are maintained if they might include relevant records. The order isn’t going to stop anyone from destroying documents if they are of a mind to do so and, as Eric Holder, Lois Lerner and Hillary Clinton proved, you can destroy them with impunity if it is a mere Congressional committee demanding that you preserve them.