Senate Intelligence Committee: Meet the Senators Questioning James Comey

50


Senate Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee members, Senate Intelligence Committee chair

Senate intelligence Committee Vice-Chair Mark Warner and Chairman Richard Burr during a June 2017 hearing. (Getty)

Today, all eyes in Washington will be focused on the Hart Senate Office Building, where the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will question former FBI Director James Comey for the first time since President Donald Trump fired him last month. The Senate Intelligence Committee is made up of 15 Senators, eight Republicans and seven Democrats. Read on to meet each member of the committee.

The hearing is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. ET and will first open with prepared statements from the Senators and Comey (you can read Comey’s statement here). After a public round of questions and answers, Comey will be grilled in a close-door session in the afternoon.

Here’s a look at the 15 members of the committee, which is leading its own investigation into alleged ties between the Trump Campaign and Russia.


Chairman: Richard Burr

Senate Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, Richard Burr

Richard Burr. (Getty)

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr has been the chairman of the Senate intelligence Committee since January 2015, after Republicans won the majority in the Senate in 2014. Burr succeeded California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who remains on the committee, in the role. He has been in Congress since 1995, when he was elected to the House of Representatives. He’s been in the Senate since 2005 and won a second term in 2016.

Burr embraced Trump on the campaign trail and the move didn’t hurt his re-election chances. But now he’s leading the Senate’s investigation into Trump’s campaign. He doesn’t have to worry about being re-elected in six years, since he already announced that he plans on retiring in 2022.

A recent New York Times profile notes that he was reluctant to join the Intelligence Committee. Strategist Paul Shumaker told the Times that he was worried he’d lose sleep at night.

Burr is also on the Finance, Aging and Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committees.

READ: James Comey Says Donald Trump Expected Loyalty in Testimony

Fired FBI Director James Comey’s opening statement on his meetings with Donald Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee has been released.

Click here to read more


Vice-Chair: Mark Warner

Senate Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, Richard Burr

Mark Warner. (Getty)

Virginia Senator Mark Warner is the Vice-Chair and Ranking Democratic member of the committee. The former Virginia Governor also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus under Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Warner won his first term as a Senator in 2008, and serves with Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate. In 2014, Warner won a second term.

In an interview with USA Today on June 6, Warner said that he thinks the “extent” of Russia’s attack on the election was “much broader than has been reported so far,” after The Intercept published a leaked highly classified document on the Russia investigation. Warner said that many of the states who were targeted by Russian cyberattacks know who they are and are taking precautions for 2018 and 2020.

Warner also sits on the Finance Committee with Burr. He’s also on the Committees on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs; the Budget; Rules and Administration; and the Joint Economic Committee.


Republicans

Senate Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee members, Senate Intelligence Committee republicans

Senators Marco Rubio, Roy Blunt and Susan Collins with former Senator Bob Dole before CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s confirmation hearings in January 2017. (Getty)

The other Republicans who sit on the committee are:

  • Jim Risch, Idaho – Risch previously served as the Governor of Idaho from 2006 to 2007 and is currently in his second term as a U.S. Senator. He won his first term in 2008.
  • Marco Rubio, Florida – Rubio, who famously ran a failed campaign for president in 2016, is in his first term as a U.S. Senator. From 2006 to 2008, he was the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.
  • Susan Collins, Maine – Collins has represented Maine in the Senate since 1997. She is also the chair of the Senate Aging and Homeland Security Committees. She’s the only Republican from a New England state currently in the Senate.
  • Roy Blunt, Missouri – Blunt joined the Senate in 2011 after winning his first term in 2010. He is also the chair of the Senate Rules Committee. He previously served in the Republican House leadership, so he has been in Washington since 1997.
  • James Lankford, Oklahoma – Lankford won a special election to replace Tom Coburn in 2014. He previously served in the House from 2011 to 2015. He’s also chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management.
  • Tom Cotton, Arkansas – Cotton has represented Arkansas in the Senate since 2015, after winning his first term in 2014. He quickly moved up from the House to the Senate, since he only served one term in the lower chamber. Notably, Cotton is the youngest Senator at 40 years old.
  • John Cornyn, Texas – Cornyn has been in the Senate since 2002 and is the Senate Majority Whip. Before winning his first term that year, he served as Texas Attorney General. Cornyn was on the short-list for FBI director after Comey was fired, but took himself out of the running in May.

Democrats

Senate Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee members, Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris in April 2017. (Getty)

The other Democrats who sit on the committee are:

  • Dianne Feinstein, California – Feinstein has been in the Senate since 1992 and is currently the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She chaired the Intelligence Committee from 2009 to 2015. She was the Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988.
  • Ron Wyden, Oregon – Wyden was first elected to the Senate in 1996. He is also the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee after chairing it when the Democrats had the majority. He’s also the Ranking Member on the Joint Committee On Taxation.
  • Martin Heinrich, New Mexico – Heinrich was first elected to the Senate in 2012, following two terms in the House. He’s the Ranking Member on the Joint Economic Committee.
  • Angus King, Maine (Independent) – Former Maine Governor King is an Independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party members. He was first elected to the Senate in 2012.
  • Joe Manchin, West Virginia – Manchin, who served as West Virginia Governor from 2005 to 2010, was first elected to the Senate in 2010 after winning a special election. Manchin has made plenty of controversial decisions, often voting with Republicans and voted for many of Trump’s cabinet appointees.
  • Kamala Harris, California – Harris is the newest member of the Senate to earn a spot on the Intelligence Committee. She was elected to her first term just last year after serving as California Attorney General. Harris is also the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight.