Casey, Thompson address alleged Russian hacking issues

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting Tuesday at the Kremlin in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting Tuesday at the Kremlin in Moscow. AP

Bob Casey wants to know more about Russia’s involvement in the U.S. presidential election.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania joined with eight other Democratic senators, including Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy and Al Franken, to call for a National Intelligence Estimate to “determine the extent of Russian intervention in the 2016 United States presidential election.”

They would like it by Jan. 20, the day Republican Donald Trump is due to take the oath of office.

The concerns follow Friday’s reports in the Washington Post that the CIA had determined Russia was involved in the hacking.

“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” the Post quoted a senior U.S. official saying regarding an intelligence presentation made to senators.

Casey and the other senators wrote to James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, laying out their case.

“Quite simply, deliberate interference in our election to favor a particular candidate is an unprecedented breach and threat to U.S. democracy and national security,” they wrote. “We know that Russia continues to make a concerted effort to undermine democratic institutions in the West and we fear we have fallen victim to their agenda. Such an attack on the United States must not go undisclosed.”

They also wrote to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking for confirmation that “nonpartisan career Justice Department officials” are investigating the matter, and if not, that such an investigation be immediately initiated.

“We must ensure that a foreign government cannot undermine our democratic institutions and elections as a means to serve its own interests,” the senators wrote.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township, also addressed the issue regarding Congressional oversight.

“This is a serious matter that warrants the attention of the House Intelligence Committee,” he said. “I am hopeful this review can be conducted in a bipartisan manner that takes into account that there are discrepancies in various reports from our intelligence agencies, which need to be rectified.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., have both said they support investigation of the cyberattacks by Congress.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce