Electors demand intelligence report on Russian hacking before Electoral College vote
A group of bipartisan electors are calling on U.S. intelligence officials to release findings on Russia’s involvement in the U.S. election prior to the Electoral College vote that will make Donald Trump’s presidential election official.
In an open letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Monday, a group of nine electors representing both parties vow to discharge their duties by the standard described in Alexander Hamilton’s The Federalist Paper No. 68.
“We intend to discharge our duties as Electors by ensuring that we select a candidate for president who, as our Founding Fathers envisioned, would be ‘endowed with the requisite qualifications,'” the letter states. “[T]he Constitution envisions the Electoral College as a deliberative body that plays a critical role in our system of government — ensuring that the American people elect a president who is constitutionally qualified and fit to serve.”
The electors note that the intelligence community has concluded with “high confidence” that Russia acted to interfere in the U.S. election to the benefit of Trump.
“According to reports in the Washington Post, New York Times, and other outlets, the United States intelligence community has now concluded definitively that the Russian interference was performed to help Donald Trump get elected, yet even today Mr. Trump is refusing to accept that finding,” the letter states. “Separate from Mr. Trump’s own denials of Russian involvement in the election, the confirmed communication between Trump’s aides and those associated with the Russian election interference activity raise serious concerns that must be addressed before we cast our votes.”
Among the electors’ concerns are allegations that Russian government officials “maintained contact with the Trump campaign during the election,” reports of a propaganda operation to “sway American public opinion in favor of Ukraine’s pro-Putin government” and relationships between Trump associations and Russia President Vladimir Putin.
The letter continues:
The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations. We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.
The electors also demand that Trump provide “conclusive evidence that he and his staff and advisors did not accept Russian interference, or otherwise collaborate during the campaign, and conclusive disavowal and repudiation of such collaboration and interference going forward.”
The letter is signed by Christine Pelosi, Michael Baca, Anita Bonds, Courtney Watson, Dudley Dudley, Bev Hollingworth, Terie Norelli, Carol Shea-Porter, Clay Pell and Chris Suprun.