NBC Chicago: Durbin, Quigley Push Investigation Into Russian Election Tampering
The following article was published on December 13, 2016. A link to the article can be found here.
By Tom Schuba
Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Mike Quigley joined a growing list of American lawmakers pushing for investigations into the extent of Russian state intervention in the recent presidential election.
Durbin joined a group of Democratic senators Tuesday who urged U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to issue a formal assessment of the cyber-intrusions, requesting additional information and investigations into the alleged Russian hacks.
The group, which includes Sens. Patrick Leahy, Ben Cardin, Al Franken, Brian Schatz, Gary Peters, Bob Casey, Tom Udall, and Ed Markey, also urged U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to publicly confirm that Justice Department officials are simultaneously conducting a criminal investigation into the intrusions.
“Direct and deliberate interference in our election is an unprecedented breach and threat to U.S. democracy and national security — it is absolutely critical that information about these matter be disclosed to the public and to Congress,” the group wrote. “We strongly support calls for bipartisan investigations by Congress — this issue requires the full attention and executive and legislative branches alike, and a conclusive, public national intelligence estimate will lay out the facts for the American people.”
“The public also needs transparency and reassurance that federal law enforcement is actively investigation these matters and that, if the investigation finds evidence that Russian officials perpetrated or directed such acts, appropriate criminal charges will be announced,” the group added.
Rep. Quigley, who serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, also issued a statement Monday calling for a timely Congressional investigation into the attacks.
“The recent findings of Russian interference in our presidential election should concern every American, regardless of political affiliation,” Quigley said in a statement. “a thorough, bipartisan, bicameral investigation should be convened as soon as possible to provide the American people with the facts and answers they deserve in regards to the scope and timing of this alleged involvement.”
“As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I believe that it is time for us to come together and put our country first by fulfilling our responsibility to uphold the democratic foundation on which our nation was built,” he added. “Congress’s response to this incident could have major foreign policy implications in the weeks, months, and years to come. The world is watching and we must do all we can to deter future intrusions into our institutions, from Russia or any other actors who wish us harm."
In October, the U.S. intelligence community officially accused Moscow of attempting to interfere with the American electoral process through hacking US "political organizations.” Although it wasn’t clearly specified, the statement was seemingly in reference to cyber-intrusions into the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic groups and individuals.
The Central Intelligence Agency concluded in a secret assessment last week that Russian intervention looked to aid the candidacy of President-elect Donald Trump, rather than simply undermine confidence in the country’s electoral system, the Washington Post reports.
However, some Republicans, including Trump, have questioned the CIA’s evidence.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Trump told Fox News Sunday. "I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it."