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Dems directly appeal to House Speaker Paul Ryan on election hacking

The top Democrats on six of the House's key committees are appealing directly to Speaker Paul Ryan to help them obtai...

Posted: Apr 10, 2018 4:08 PM
Updated: Apr 10, 2018 4:08 PM

The top Democrats on six of the House's key committees are appealing directly to Speaker Paul Ryan to help them obtain documents from the Trump administration related to election hacking during the 2016 contest.

In a letter sent to the speaker Tuesday morning, the highest-ranking Democrats on the House Oversight, Judiciary, Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and House Administration committees implored Ryan to intervene in their ongoing efforts to get the Department of Homeland Security to turn over documents related to the targeting of state election-related systems by Russian hackers.

The Democrats asked the department in October to provide copies of the notifications it sent to the 21 states it identified as the target of Russian government-linked attempts to hack voting-related systems and other related documents.

The Democrats wrote when they did not get adequate responses on an ensuing back-and-forth, they asked House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy to issue a subpoena, but he did not respond.

The Speaker's office did not immediately respond to CNN request for comment.

Calling the administration's response "woefully inadequate," the group said they've "exhausted" the options at the committee level and asked Ryan to "personally intervene to protect the integrity and authorities of the House of Representatives."

"The election happened 17 months ago. It is inexcusable that Republican leaders in Congress have done so little to investigate -- or address -- Russian-backed attacks on our states, despite the fact that we have been asking repeatedly for congressional action on this important matter," the Democrats wrote. "We must be able to evaluate the threat that Russia posed -- and still poses -- but we cannot do our jobs effectively without obtaining the facts."

The Department of Homeland Security announced last summer that Russian-linked hackers had targeted 21 states' voting-related systems, though not actual voting tabulation systems. A small number of those states were actually breached, including Illinois and Arizona. But state election officials complained that Homeland Security did not tell them whether they were part of the 21 states until fall, and still dispute some of the findings of the department.

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