Grassley: Did Russia Try to Influence U.S. Election?

Jul 27, 2016

Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says he wants more information about a cyber attack at the Democratic National Committee that resulted in the online publication of thousands of sensitive e-mails.   

The FBI is investigating whether Russia broke into DNC servers and handed over information to Wiki-Leaks which promptly posted it online.  

Grassley says it’s believable Russia was behind it.

"I believe they have the capability and the history of doing it, but do I know they're specifically involved in this hacking?" Grassley asks. “I don't know.” 

Grassley and Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy have written Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey asking what the government is doing to prevent cyber attacks on non-governmental political organizations.    

In the letter, Grassley says the government has also reported foreign hackers targeted the networks of the Romney and Obama campaigns in 2012, and Chinese hackers compromised the networks of the Obama and McCain campaigns in 2008.   

What’s different with this attack is the publication of the information, which could be an attempt to influence the presidential election.   

"If it's affecting our political process and they're trying to interfere in our election process and particularly, if it's to help one candidate over another, I think the public needs to know about it,"   Grassley says.

The e-mails suggest the Democratic Party was favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the primary election, which led to an outcry from Sanders supporters and the resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.   

“Does the Justice Department believe that existing statutes provide an adequate basis for addressing hacking crimes of this nature?”   Grassley asks.