Politics & Government

Pelosi joins other Democrats in call for independent probe of Russia’s election hacking

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. AP

Nancy Pelosi wants a bipartisan, independent commission to look into reports of Russian interference of U.S. election, joining a growing chorus of Democrats who so far have been frustrated in that effort.

In a meeting with reporters, the House Democratic Leader said that even if Hillary Clinton had won the election, “we still need the investigation. This is not overturning this election. This is about making sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Russia reportedly was trying to help President-elect Donald Trump win. Trump has called reports of Russian interference “ridiculous.”

Pelosi, D-Calif., said the issue goes beyond partisan politics. “We can’t have them undermine the sanctity of our democracy and that’s what they did, and that’s an absolute fact,” she said.

Congress has a responsibility to investigate Russian hacking into our election.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

So far, though, Republicans are resisting. Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate Intelligence Committee would review the matter.

McConnell was asked his view of a special commission, similar to one that reviewed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“We’re going to follow the regular order. It’s an important subject and we intend to review it on a bipartisan basis,” McConnell said.

Pelosi wanted to see at least more involvement by the House of Representatives. “I think the American people have a right to know and they deserve to make sure that nobody thinks this can happen again,” she said.

Other Democrats have been calling for an independent probe. Three Senate Democrats are seeking a commission.

“We need this commission to determine if my personal belief is correct – that the real intent of what appears to be a classic Russian covert influence campaign was to harm the candidacy of the Democratic candidate or undermine our democratic system,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In the House, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., top Democrat on the House CIA subcommittee Committee, is pushing legislation to create a 12-member panel. Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has said he sees no need to open a new investigation, but that his panel is “conducting vigorous oversight of the investigations into election-related cyberattacks.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was forceful: “We must condemn and push back forcefully against any state-sponsored cyberattacks on our democratic process.

“Throughout this Congress, Chairman Nunes and the Intelligence Committee have been working diligently on the cyber threats posed by foreign governments and terrorist organizations to the security and institutions of the United States. This important work will continue and has my support.”

David Lightman: 202-383-6101, @lightmandavid