Democrats demand Trump admin officials testify on election security | Media Hard

Democrats demand Trump admin officials testify on election security

Aggregated From: Donald Trump

Democrats demand Trump admin officials testify on election security

House Democrats are prodding their Republican colleagues to examine foreign threats to upcoming U.S. elections, raising concerns that the Trump administration is not adequately tackling the threat. 

The top Democrats on four House committees demanded Thursday that their Republican counterparts hold a joint hearing on election security featuring top Trump administration officials.

“Election security is a national security issue, and it is time this Congress treated it like one,” the Democrats wrote in Thursday’s letter. “We are concerned that the Trump administration is not doing enough to address vulnerabilities to our election systems.”

The letter was signed by the top Democrats on the House Administration, Judiciary, Oversight and Homeland Security committees. 

Several House and Senate panels have held public hearings on election security in recent weeks, including the House Homeland Security and Oversight committees.

The House and Senate Intelligence committees have also undertaken separate investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election; the House investigation wrapped up earlier this year, and the Senate’s probe is expected to conclude next month.

Still, Thursday’s letter is the latest sign that Democrats don’t believe GOP leaders are doing enough to investigate the issue of election security following Russia’s meddling. 

The letter, which cites President TrumpDonald John TrumpMeadows threatens to force a vote on Rosenstein impeachment Republican feels ‘victimized’ by Twitter ‘shadow banning’ GOP senators surprised to attend Trump’s tariffs announcement MORE’s comments in Helsinki casting doubt on the intelligence community’s assessment of Moscow’s interference, questions the administration’s moves on election security. 

The Democrats want to hear from several top national security officials, including FBI Director Christopher Wray, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenHispanic Dems press Nielsen on family separations State Dept warned DHS not to end protected status for some immigrants, saying it would strengthen MS-13: report The Hill’s 12:30 Report MORE, Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsWhite House: Trump won’t meet Putin until next year Poll: Majority of Americans think Russia will interfere in midterms Hillicon Valley: Senators working on new Russia sanctions bill | Defense bill includes cyber warfare policy | Hatch tells Google he’s still alive | Dem wants tech execs back before Congress | Facebook gets foothold in China MORE and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinMeadows threatens to force a vote on Rosenstein impeachment GOP lawmaker: ‘I do not support’ impeaching Rosenstein Hillicon Valley: GOP lawmakers introduce articles of impeachment for Rosenstein | Senate Intel to call back tech execs | FCC chair stands by Sinclair decision after Trump criticism | Analysts uncover new Iran hacking group MORE

They also want Republicans to request testimony from Tom Hicks, the chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Committee — an independent body convened by Congress that plays a role in helping state officials secure their election systems from cyber threats.

Democrats signaled they want to question Wray on recent reports about the departure of top FBI cyber officials, including the leader of the bureau’s foreign influence task force.

They also wrote that they want to grill Rosenstein on a new Justice Department policy he rolled out last week to address foreign influence operations “in order to understand what specific steps federal agencies are taking to address threats to our elections.” 

House Democrats have been consistently vocal in their criticism of Republicans for what they see as a failure to address election security following revelations about Russian meddling in the election.

Officials say that Russian hackers targeted election systems, such as voter databases and websites, in 21 states before the 2016 election as part of the broader interference plot.

Earlier this week, Democrats on the Oversight Committee tried and failed to subpoena Coats to testify publicly before the committee during a hearing on election security, after Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyGOP lawmaker: ‘I do not support’ impeaching Rosenstein Hillicon Valley: GOP lawmakers introduce articles of impeachment for Rosenstein | Senate Intel to call back tech execs | FCC chair stands by Sinclair decision after Trump criticism | Analysts uncover new Iran hacking group GOP lawmakers introduce articles of impeachment against Rosenstein MORE (R-S.C.) declined to invite him to testify that day but offered the prospect of a classified hearing in the future. 

Top Trump officials, including Nielsen, Wray and Coats, briefed Congress behind closed doors on election security in May — though the meeting was sparsely attended. The Department of Homeland Security has taken the lead on engaging with states to test their systems for vulnerabilities and share information on emerging cyber threats. 

Thursday’s letter is signed by Democratic Reps. Robert Brady (Penn.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsMeadows threatens to force a vote on Rosenstein impeachment GOP lawmaker: ‘I do not support’ impeaching Rosenstein Overnight Health Care: Trump official slams ‘Medicare for All’ | House votes to delay ObamaCare health insurance tax | Senate panel advances bill banning drug ‘gag clauses’ MORE (Md.) and Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonHillicon Valley: Trump denies Russian meddling at presser with Putin | Republicans join in criticism of Trump | FCC chief rejects Sinclair-Tribune merger | Uber faces probe over gender discrimination | Social media execs headed to Capitol Overnight Health Care: Judge blocks Kentucky Medicaid work requirements | Trump officials consider cuts to ObamaCare outreach | House probes HHS office in charge of migrant children Top House Dems request broad investigations into Trump immigration policy MORE (Miss.).

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mchalfant@thehill.com (Morgan Chalfant)
http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/399052-democrats-demand-trump-admin-officials-testify-on-election-security

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