On Saturday, Politico reported that congressional Democrats believe their pressure campaign on the intelligence community was crucial to exposing Russia’s newest plot to interfere with U.S. elections on behalf of President Donald Trump.
“For weeks, top Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate have been blaring warnings and demanding briefings and public disclosures from the intelligence community, shrugging off Republican charges that they’re politicizing intelligence,” reported Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney. “And Democrats can now point to evidence that their pressure campaign might be working. On Friday, the Trump administration’s counterintelligence chief publicly confirmed that Russia is attempting to harm Joe Biden’s candidacy in 2020. The official, William Evanina, even singled out a pro-Russia Ukrainian, Andrii Derkach, as a key participant in the Kremlin’s new effort.”
These details were laid out publicly in a new intelligence assessment released on Friday.
According to the report, Democrats believe intelligence agencies must still reveal more. “While some lawmakers acknowledged that the statement was indeed significantly more detailed, they said it still conflated Chinese and Iranian interference with Russia’s more sophisticated efforts. The claims about China and Iran notably lack the degree of specificity Evanina offered about Russia.”
In a joint statement released on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) emphasized this point: “Unfortunately, today’s statement still treats three actors of differing intent and capability as equal threats to our democratic elections.”
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