Oversight Dems Ask Gowdy to Subpoena Documents Withheld by Trump Administration on Russian Attacks on 21 States in 2016 Election
Today, all Democratic Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter asking Chairman Trey Gowdy to issue a subpoena to finally compel the Department of Homeland Security to produce documents it has been withholding from Congress for months relating to Russian government-backed efforts to monitor, penetrate, or otherwise hack at least 21 state election systems in the 2016 election.
Ranking Member Elijah Cummings issued the following statement in conjunction with today’s letter: “Russia attacked our states in the last election to help Donald Trump get elected President. Why is the Trump Administration now concealing from Congress documents showing exactly how Russia did it?”
On October 20, 2017, Ranking Member Cummings sent a letter requesting copies of the notifications that the Department of Homeland Security provided to 21 states identified as targets of Russian government-linked hacking attempts: Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Illinois, Alaska, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, and Delaware. They also requested all documents “related to the Russian government-backed attempts to hack state election systems.”
In response, the Department provided just one e-mail containing a short script that Department employees apparently read over the phone to state election officials. This script is 13 sentences long and does not refer to any specific state or attack. Rather, it is a generic script that provides no specific information.
“Despite repeated requests over the past several months, the Department has refused to provide the Oversight Committee with this information, and to the best of our knowledge, has not provided it to any congressional committee,” all Democratic Committee Members wrote in their letter to Gowdy. “We have been extremely patient, but we can no longer allow the Trump Administration to defy our requests and withhold this critical information from Congress.”
The Members concluded, “If you choose not to do so, then we ask that you place this matter on the agenda for our next regularly scheduled business meeting so that all Committee Members will have the opportunity to vote on a motion to issue this subpoena.”