The heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee set a ground rule before taking questions on their investigation into alleged Russian election interference: Don't ask about the increasingly chaotic House investigation. At a Wednesday press conference, Republican committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr and Democratic vice chair Sen. Mark Warner promised to conduct a thorough, impartial, and bipartisan investigation that would not shy away from looking into possible direct links to President Trump, Politico reports. Burr said he voted for Trump, but the investigation "overrides any personal beliefs that I have or loyalties that I might have." He promised that the "investigation's scope will go wherever the intelligence leads."
The committee will hold its first public hearing Thursday, with former NSA chief Keith Alexander among the witnesses, the Guardian reports. Amid partisan clashes on the House side, there have been calls for an independent commission to investigate the alleged Russian meddling, but senators have signaled that their investigation will be very different, the Hill reports. "I worry that the chaos on the House side has affected the public's view on whether Congress can credibly investigate this matter," said GOP Sen. Susan Collins, per the New York Times. "I believe the answer to that is still yes, and that the Senate is the place." House Republican Rep. Charlie Dent agreed, saying the Senate investigation is "moving on a better trajectory."