Although the intelligence conclusion that Russia is trying to interfere in the 2020 Democratic primaries is new, in the 2019 report of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, there is a reference to Russian desires to help Mr. Sanders in his presidential primary campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2016. The report quoted internal documents from the Internet Research Agency, a troll factory sponsored by Russian intelligence, in an order to its operatives: Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest except for Sanders and Trump we support them.
How soon the House committee might get that information is not clear. Since the impeachment inquiry, tensions have risen between the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the committee. As officials navigate the disputes, the intelligence agencies have slowed the amount of material they provide to the House, officials said. The agencies are required by law to regularly brief Congress on threats.
While Republicans have long been critical of the Obama administration for not doing enough to track and deter Russian interference in 2016, current and former intelligence officials said the party is at risk of making a similar mistake now. Mr. Trump has been reluctant to even hear about election interference, and Republicans dislike discussing it publicly.
The aftermath of last weeks briefing prompted some intelligence officials to voice concerns that the White House will dismantle a key election security effort by Dan Coats, the former director of national intelligence: the establishment of an election interference czar. Ms. Pierson has held the post since last summer.
And some current and former intelligence officials expressed fears that Mr. Grenell may have been put in place explicitly to slow the pace of information on election interference to Congress. The revelations about Mr. Trumps confrontation with Mr. Maguire raised new concerns about Mr. Grenells appointment, said the Democratic House committee official, who added that the upcoming election could be more vulnerable to foreign interference.
Mr. Trump, former officials have said, is typically uninterested in election interference briefings, and Mr. Grenell might see it as unwise to emphasize such intelligence with the president.
The biggest concern I would have is if the intelligence community was not forthcoming and not providing the analysis in the run-up to the next election, said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a former intelligence official now with the Center for a New American Security. It is really concerning that this is happening in the run-up to an election.