(WASHINGTON, D.C.)--Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Democratic Members of the House Judiciary Committee in sending a letter to Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) calling for immediate hearings examining the U.S. election infrastructure after a senior U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official revealed that Russia hacked U.S. voter rolls. The letter asks the Majority for emergency hearings to look into potential vulnerabilities of our election infrastructure, foreign threats posed, and to examine what steps the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, and the State Department may or may not be taking to ensure the integrity of future state and federal elections.
In their letter, the Members wrote, “It is our Committee’s responsibility to examine the vulnerabilities and risks facing our election processes and infrastructure in order to protect the right to vote for every American—a right that includes not just equal voting rights and access to the polls, but also confidence in the accuracy and security of our election systems. For these reasons, we urge you to hold immediate hearings on this fundamental issue.”
Yesterday, DHS confirmed that not only did the Russians attempt to hack at least 21 states, but they were successful in actually penetrating some of those systems. CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson both admitted the Russians never ceased their cyber operations from 2016 and will continue their attacks during the 2018 mid-term elections. Secretary Tillerson seems to believe that there is nothing the government can do to curb these attacks, although experts and lawmakers agree that sanctions and deterrence would help to hold the Russian government accountable.
With the first primary election in March 2018, Judiciary Republicans have taken no action to address the ongoing threat Russia poses to the U.S. federal election systems—despite pledging to do so when adopting the Committee’s oversight plan in February 2017.
Today’s letter was signed by every Democrat on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, including: Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Karen Bass (D-CA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Val Demings (D-FL).
Full text of today’s letter is available here.