Why Hasn't Bill Clinton Endorsed Electors' Briefing Request? Staying On The Sidelines May Be More Powerful
The recent news that the CIA has concluded Russians hacked the U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump win has Republican and Democrat congressmen alike calling for further investigations. Similarly, many electors are demanding an intelligence briefing before their final Electoral College vote on Dec. 19, possibly in the hope that the information contained therein might be enough to persuade the necessary 36 Republican electors to turn their backs on Trump. This call has been joined by Hillary Clinton's campaign and by as many as one in four Democratic electors, according to Politico.
However, as Politico also noted, the most high-profile electors, like Bill Clinton, Bill De Blasio, and Andrew Cuomo, have remained steadfastly silent on the issue. Why are famous electors not joining the call for an intelligence briefing?
None of the three Democrats mentioned above responded to Politico's request for comment. However, on Wednesday, Cuomo, the governor of New York, did call for a full investigation into hacking allegations, saying "...we want to be sure that nobody tampered with our elections, and we should use this time to find that out." De Blasio suggested in a series of tweets on Saturday that Americans should be given as much information about the hack as possible.
Bill Clinton has not made a public statement about the matter, but Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has formally backed the electors' request. Campaign chairman John Podesta made his thoughts clear in a statement Tuesday:
Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed. We now know that the CIA has determined Russia's interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American. Never before in the history of our Republic have we seen such an effort to undermine the bedrock of our democracy.
While Cuomo, Clinton, and De Blasio have not openly endorsed electors receiving briefings on the hacking, there is clearly evidence they support investigations into Russian interference. It is certainly possible that they are stepping back from the Electoral College-specific request in order to allow other electors — "ordinary people," so to speak — to lead the request. After all, calls for an intelligence briefing would be the strongest when they seem to come from the people, rather than government elites.