02.02.17

Whitehouse, Graham to Launch Bipartisan Investigation Into Russian Influence on Elections

Senators aim to shine a light on Russian activities to undermine democracy

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today announced they will launch a bipartisan investigation into Russian efforts to influence democratic elections in the United States and abroad.  The investigation will be conducted by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.  Graham and Whitehouse are the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, respectively.

Whitehouse and Graham issued the following joint statement:

“We look forward to investigating Russia’s efforts to influence democratic elections, both here at home and abroad. 

“Our goal is simple – to the fullest extent possible we want to shine a light on Russian activities to undermine democracy.  While some of our efforts will have to be held behind closed doors due to security concerns, we also hope to have an open discussion before the American people about Russia’s strategies to undermine democracy. 

“Our efforts will be guided by the belief that we have an obligation to follow the facts wherever they may lead.”

The subcommittee plans to fulfill the following goals:

  • Gain a full understanding of the American intelligence community’s assessment that Russia did take an active interest and play a role in the recent American elections.
  • Learn more about the methods Russia has used to target democratic nations and elections.
  • Explore possible avenues to help prevent and deter future foreign influences from affecting American elections and institutions.
  • Assure that Congress provides the FBI the tools it needs to keep its investigative work protected from political influence.

The timing of the investigation will be determined in the coming days.

The hearing is the latest in a series of Whitehouse’s bipartisan efforts that have reaped significant results.  With his colleague Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Whitehouse co-authored the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, sweeping legislation to stem the opioid addiction crisis that was signed into law last summer.  Congress has enacted a bipartisan long-term transportation funding bill that includes a program—the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects program—which Whitehouse long pursued with the intent of funding extremely overdue repairs to the 6-10 Connector.  Whitehouse also helped broker a bipartisan compromise in the Senate to overhaul the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act, the nation’s primary toxic chemical protection law.

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