If there is a list of urgent priorities facing the president-elect and a new Congress, at the top of that list should be an investigation of the attempts by Russia to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
Criminal behavior by a foreign government attempting to interfere with U.S. elections is a direct threat to our democracy.
We don’t have to speculate about whether this happened. U.S. Intelligence Agencies have told the Congress and the president that this criminal behavior happened. According to reports, the evidence points to a foreign government engaging in computer hacking to steal private information and using it to help the candidate they prefer. It is believed they created and distributed fake news for the same purpose…to influence the presidential election. It should send a shiver down the spine of the American people.
The election is over and a new president has been selected. No one will ever know whether the Russian activities affected the outcome of the presidential election but we do know these brazen crimes committed by Russia to interfere in our elections are a serious threat to our democracy.
Last week Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain have said they are going to conduct an investigation into Russian interference in our election. Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Jack Reed have also called for an investigation. Thanks for their leadership. They are serious, thoughtful legislators who get it!
However, I think this matter calls for the creation of a Bipartisan Select Congressional Investigating Committee. Foreign interference in U.S. presidential election is criminal behavior. We need to know who did it, how they did it and how to prevent it in the future.
In the past the U.S. Congress has demonstrated it can conduct important, bipartisan investigations on matters of national importance. This needs to be one of those occasions. And it should start immediately.
A Select House/Senate Committee with Bipartisan Co-Chairs and subpoena power should open a comprehensive investigation with a goal discovering the identity of those responsible and providing that information to the justice officials for prosecution.
The Select Committee should be staffed with our best investigators and top technology experts and work in close coordination with intelligence and justice department officials to track and trace the perpetrators.
When completed, the results of the investigation should be made available to the American people.
This is urgent issue that threatens our democracy, and the investigation should begin now!