Talk about shutting the door after the horse fled the barn…Top House Democrats have launched a last-ditch move to demand a probe on Russia’s (alleged!) cyber-meddling in the 2016 election
On top of all the other awful things we know about Donald Trump, he appears to have gotten a lot of help from Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. And small wonder, Donald Trump has myriad ties to what Cold Warriors once called “the Evil Empire.” These include a slew of business interests and two wives from former Soviet bloc countries. A spy even told the FBI that Russia has been ‘cultivating’ Donald Trump for years.
POLITICO reports Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) introduced a bill on Wednesday. The bill would require the U.S. government “to take action on evidence of foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.”
According to POLITICO:
‘Swalwell, the top Democrat on the Intelligence panel’s CIA Subcommittee, and Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, will reveal their legislation at an afternoon press conference Wednesday. There were no further immediate details on the bill.’
House Democrats led by Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) also wrote a letter to President Barack Obama demanding a briefing on Russia’s interference and alleged attempts to influence the presidential race.
‘In the letter to the president, the group requested a classified briefing on the suspected Russian hacks that felled political organizations like the Democratic National Committee. They also pressed the White House for details on the WikiLeaks dump of emails from top political operatives and the “fake news stories produced and distributed with the intent to mislead American voters.”‘
In the letter, they wrote:
‘We are deeply concerned by Russian efforts to undermine, interfere with, and even influence the outcome of our recent election. This Russian malfeasance is not confined to us, but extends to our allies, our alliances and to democratic institutions around the world.’
Five other high-powered Democratic leaders of House committees also signed on to the letter:
‘In addition to Hoyer and Cummings, five other Democratic committee leaders signed onto the memo: Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee; Rep. John Conyers (Mich.), the Judiciary panel’s top Democrat; Rep. Eliot Engel (N.Y.), the ranking member on Foreign Affairs; Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.), the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee; and Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.), the ranking member on the Armed Services panel.’
There seems to be little doubt that Russia meddled in the election. Yet officials remain unsure of whether they wanted to get Donald Trump elected or undermine the public’s trust in our elections. Either way, they’ve succeeded, though the Republican Party and Fox News have done plenty to help them along. Even the normally restrained Barack “No Drama” Obama uncharacteristically leveled the same accusations against the Kremlin back in October. As POLITICO then reported, U.S. Dept of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper declared in a joint statement:
‘These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow — the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.’
And it’s not just Democrats who want an investigation. They’ve got at least one Republican ally in the U.S. Senate. On Wednesday, none other than Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CNN‘s Manu Raju:
‘I think Trump should take a real tough tone with Russia, because if he doesn’t, you’re going to allow Russia to begin to break apart alliances.’
In his interview with Time, Donald Trump insisted that Russia didn’t interfere in the election and that the House Democrats are just sore losers:
‘I don’t believe it. I don’t believe they interfered,’
Watch: Sen. Lindsey Graham joins House Democrats in demanding an investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Lindsey Graham: I think Russia did interfere in our elections, and I want Putin to pay a price https://t.co/lcoB6YjPBT
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) December 7, 2016