The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is about to get moving on its investigation into possible ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

U.S. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent who is a member of the panel, said the probe “will be underway next week, at least on the staff level.”

King also promised that it won’t be a whitewash.

“I’m going to get to the bottom of it,” King vowed Friday.

The chairman and vice chairman of the panel said last month in a joint statement that they believe “it is critical to have a full understanding of the scope of Russian intelligence activities impacting the United States,” including any meddling in the presidential election.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who leads the committee, said in the joint release that the panel has “focused a great deal of attention on Russia’s behavior around the world” as part of its role to oversee U.S. intelligence activities and programs.


Part of the new inquiry, he said, “will necessarily be focused on what happened, and what didn’t happen” during the campaign. American intelligence experts have said Russia openly interfered.

The panel’s vice chairman, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said the issue “impacts the foundations of our democratic system. It’s that important. This requires a full, deep and bipartisan examination.”

King has focused on the issue since the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, issued a public letter raising concerns in early October.

Last month, he pressed Trump’s choice to head the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, about whether he would explore allegations of contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Pompeo promised in a hearing to pursue the facts “wherever they take us.”

Both King and Maine’s senior senator, Republican Susan Collins, are among the 15 members of the Intelligence Committee.


King said that until now, the committee has been focusing on what staff needs are required for the investigation. But it can get to work next week, he said.

Most of the probe will likely take place behind closed doors — the committee typically works in secret because it deals with lots of classified information — but it’s likely public hearings will occur as well.

Officials have said they believe the investigation will take a few months.

Warner and Burr said they anticipate the committee will interview senior officials from both the Trump and Obama administration, “including the issuance of subpoenas if necessary to compel testimony.”

They also plan to produce both classified and unclassified reports on the panel’s finding.

Both senators promised the committee “will follow the intelligence wherever it leads. We will conduct this inquiry expeditiously, and we will get it right.”

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