Ten Electors Demand Russia Hacking Briefing

by Emily Shire

According to a report in POLITICO on Monday, ten members of the Electoral College have insisted on a Russia election hacking briefing from intelligence officials before they cast their official ballots on Dec. 19. The ten electors, which include nine Democrats and one Republican, wrote an open letter to James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, stating:

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 call on the president-elect to 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 group of electors includes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's daughter, Christine, a California elector; Michael Baca, one of the Hamilton Electors; and Christopher Suprun, the Texas Republican elector who wrote an op-ed in The New York Times last week about how we would not vote for Trump.

This weekend saw increasing reports that the U.S. intelligence community believed that Russia had interfered with the 2016 presidential election and did so in an effort to aid Trump. Trump has rejected the reports and tweeted that if Russia was accused of helping Clinton win it would be dismissed as a "conspiracy theory."

However, top U.S. leaders, including many Republicans, have called for further investigations. On Sunday on CBS' Face The Nation, Sen. John McCain said there was "no doubt about the hacking" in regards to Russian intelligence involvement. On Monday, Sen. Mitch McConnell backed a Senate Intelligence Committee probe of Russian involvement in the election and stressed, "Russians are not our friends."