Sarbanes Statement on Mueller Indictments of Russian Nationals for 2016 Election Meddling
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) released the following statement today after special counsel Robert S. Mueller III charged 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian companies with conspiracy for illegally using social media to spread discord among the American public and to support Donald Trump’s campaign while maligning Hillary Clinton’s campaign:
“There is no ‘hoax,’ there is no ‘witch hunt’ and this isn’t ‘fake news.’ Today’s indictments are proof that individuals and organizations, backed by the Russian government, conspired in significant ways to undermine our electoral process and attack our democracy – all with the express purpose of ‘supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump.’
“Earlier this week, the entire American intelligence community – including Trump-appointed CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Trump-appointed Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Trump-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray – made clear that the Russians have continued their election interference operations and are planning to attack us again in 2018. Coupled with today’s indictments, the warnings from our intelligence agencies give us every reason to take immediate steps to protect our elections.
“With the 2018 midterms fast approaching, Congress must take action to prevent foreign actors from continuing to meddle in our politics and in our democracy. I call on Speaker Ryan and the Republican-controlled Congress to hold immediate hearings on how to protect our election systems and to stop foreign interference in our democracy. Failing to act would be complicit in these unlawful foreign attacks on the democracy of the United States of America.”