It’s been quite a week for the Russian military: Last Friday, Russian military jets buzzed the USS Porter; on Tuesday, a Russian spy ship was spotted off the coast of Delaware, and there has been confirmed movement of banned advanced cruise missiles within Russian borders.

While this saber rattling is front-page news, I don’t see how President Trump can respond to these threats until we know whether or not Russian interference helped get him elected into the Nation’s highest office.

That’s why Senate Bill 27, shamefully stalled in committee, establishes an independent commission to examine and report on the facts regarding the extent of Russian official and unofficial cyber operations and other attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.

Until this bill is pushed into the spotlight, and U.S. authorities conduct an independent investigation into whether our president or his operatives collaborated with Moscow, the Trump administration’s response to Russian provocation cannot be seen as objective or in the best interest of the American people.

Brad Smith