February 17, 2017

Senator Hassan Joins Fellow Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Members in Calling for Full Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Elections

Senator Hassan Joins Fellow Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Members in Calling for Full Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Elections

WASHINGTON - Today, Senator Maggie Hassan joined fellow Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) members, Senators Tom Carper (D-MD), Jon Tester (D-MT), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Kamala Harris (D-CA), in sending a letter to Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) to formally request an investigation focused on Russia's attempts to influence the U.S. Presidential election by attacking the nation's election infrastructure.

Securing our nation's election infrastructure falls squarely within HSGAC's jurisdiction, which has oversight authority over the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Last month, DHS announced that election infrastructure would be designated "critical infrastructure," making state and local election entities eligible to receive prioritized cybersecurity assistance from DHS.

"Russia's shameless attempts to influence our Presidential election threaten our national security and the very foundation of our democracy, and we must hold Vladimir Putin accountable for this attack," Senator Hassan said. "I join my colleagues in calling for a full investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election in order to protect our nation's critical infrastructure from future attacks and to keep New Hampshire and America safe."

In the letter, the Senators outline public information indicating Russia's attempts to hack election infrastructure and influence the November presidential election, pointing to a report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence which stated, with high confidence, that "Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election."

The letter to Chairman Johnson reads, "Russia's organized campaign to undermine our presidential election and target our election infrastructure is certainly one of the most pressing issues facing our nation. We therefore request that you initiate an investigation... into these issues, and schedule regular hearings to ensure that the American people are kept apprised of the progress and results of the Committee's investigation... Only a thorough, transparent investigation will allow the American people to learn exactly what transpired during the 2016 presidential campaign and what changes, if any, are necessary to safeguard our nation's critical infrastructure from further cyber hacking."

The request to Chairman Johnson comes after the resignation of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn (US Army, ret.) as President Trump's National Security Advisor earlier this week after reports that the FBI had warned that he might be susceptible to blackmail by the Russian government and that Flynn misled senior administration officials, including the Vice President, about his communications with Russian officials during the Presidential Transition.

A copy of the Senators' letter is available HERE.

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