WASHINGTON — Minnesota’s senior Sen. Amy Klobuchar is once again taking charge on the investigation into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
On Tuesday, Klobuchar’s office issued a release calling for a full investigation into reports that Russia tried to hack into voting machines days before the election.
“As Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with oversight jurisdiction over federal elections, I request a classified briefing for the Committee on the full extent of Russian interference in U.S. election systems,” Klobuchar wrote in a press release. “As the Senate continues to investigate the full extent of Russia’s attack on our election system, it is vital that we have all of the information necessary to ensure that future elections are safeguarded from foreign interference.”
The explosive report Klobuchar is referring to comes from The Intercept, who published a “highly classified intelligence report” leaked by NSA contractor Reality Winner.
The Intercept reports that hacking by the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate, an arm of Russian military intelligence, potentially succeeded in hacking into voting systems through phishing scams targeting those with access.
Klobuchar has been one of a few politicians to lead the charge in calling for investigations into Russian connections to the 2016 election.
In February, Klobuchar called for an investigation into the Trump administration’s ties to Russia, stating, “It just puts us in a very vulnerable position.” Klobuchar did not mention Trump or his administration by name in her call for an investigation.
Read Klobuchar’s letter to Trump National Security Advisor General H.R. McMasters below:
“Dear General McMaster:
“As Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with oversight jurisdiction over federal elections, I request a classified briefing for the Committee on the full extent of Russian interference in U.S. election systems.”
“Recent reports indicate that the Russian military attempted to breach U.S. voting systems days before the 2016 presidential election by launching a cyber-attack on a U.S. based voting software supplier and on the email accounts of more than 100 local election officials. This information is deeply concerning and goes beyond what was outlined in the December 2016 report from 17 U.S. intelligence agencies on Russian interference in our election.”
“As the Senate continues to investigate the full extent of Russia’s attack on our election system, it is vital that we have all of the information necessary to ensure that future elections are safeguarded from foreign interference. While I understand that certain information must remain classified, protecting our election infrastructure requires information-sharing with the federal, state, and local officials who are responsible for overseeing and administering elections. In addition to a classified briefing for the Senate Rules Committee, I request that you consider making information that could be helpful to protecting critical infrastructure publicly available immediately.”
“Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy. It is clear that a foreign adversary attempted to subvert the very process that defines our political system. We cannot let this happen going forward and need all of the information available about Russia’s attack as soon as possible.”
“Thank you for your prompt attention to this request.”