Democrats have been accusing Donald Trump’s campaign for months of being connected with Russia and now they want an investigation.
Several Democrats in Congress have formally asked the FBI to investigate if Russian cyber-attacks against the party have any connection to the Republican presidential nominee. Senior ranking Democrats on the Oversight, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees sent a letter Tuesday to FBI Director James Comey.
“Serious questions have been raised about overt and covert actions by Trump campaign officials on behalf of Russian interests. It is critical for the American public to know whether those actions may have directly caused or indirectly motivated attacks against Democratic institutions and our fundamental election process,” stated the joint letter from Reps. Elijah Cummings, Elliot L. Engel, Bennie Thompson, and John Conyers.
Cyber-attacks on the Democratic National Convention, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign computer system were already being investigated by the FBI. Experts pointed to Russian hackers as the possible source.
The letter asked Director Comey to “assess whether connections between Trump campaign officials and Russian interests may have contributed to these attacks in order to interfere with the U.S. presidential election.”
Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was also cited in the letter. Manafort resigned days after it was revealed that he had a financial connection to a pro-Russian group in Ukraine.
The letter stated that, after 20,000 hacked emails were published by the website WikiLeaks before the Democratic convention in July, Trump made comments encouraging Russian hacking, and invited Hillary Clinton’s emails to also be hacked.
The House Democrats admitted that Trump’s statements and his campaign staff’s Russian connections may or may not have “directly or indirectly” led to the cyber-attacks. But, they wrote, “there is widespread agreement that the United States should take all steps possible to prevent Russia from interfering in our electoral process and prosecute to the full extent of the law anyone involved in such a scheme.”
Trump campaign Senior Communications Advisor, Jason Miller responded to the letter in a statement to Independent Journal Review:
“These flailing attacks are a desperate attempt by Hillary Clinton and her Washington allies to distract from weeks of damaging revelations that Clinton sold access to the State Department through the Clinton Foundation. Clinton’s plan to set up an illegal server and then falsely blame it all on Colin Powell shows she knew exactly what she was doing – and that she does not have the judgment to be President of the United States. If Hillary’s insider friends wanted to send an effective communication to a federal agency, they should circulate a Dear Colleague demanding that the Department of Justice open up an investigation into the Clinton Foundation’s shady foreign contributions.”
While the Democrats push for the FBI to investigate Trump’s statements and his staff, WikiLeaks has promised to release more hacked information as the election draws nearer.
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