Politics

House Dem Pushes For National Intelligence Estimate On Motive Behind Russian Meddling

Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois introduced legislation Monday requiring the director of National Intelligence to provide a national intelligence estimate on Russia’s intentions behind meddling in elections across the world.

Krishnamoorthi, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, argues the Keeping Russian Entanglements Minimal and Limiting Intelligence Networks (KREMLIN) Act is necessary to understand the rationale in addition to the tactics behind attempts to interfere with the electoral process.

“The Kremlin’s efforts to sabotage our democracy and those of our allies across Europe are undeniable and in addition to investigating these activities, we must also assess Russia’s broader intentions which drive such attacks on democratic institutions,” he said in a statement. “The KREMLIN Act will meet this strategic need through producing a National Intelligence Estimate to identify the ultimate goals of Putin’s regime, just as other investigations uncover its methods.”

The bill’s introduction comes in the wake of the Department of Homeland Security confirming Russian government hackers attempted to target 21 states’ election systems during the 2016 election.

“The sanctity of the ballot box is a cornerstone of any free and fair electoral system,” Krishnamoorthi said. “These attacks need to be seen for what they are: an unprecedented assault on the foundations of western democracies. To combat these attacks and prevent them from causing greater damage in the future, we must comprehensively identify their goals.”

Spain is the latest country to announce it believes it has been a target Russian interference, with Spanish ministers telling Reuters they suspect hackers from the country attempted to promote Catalonia’s independence referendum in October. Elections in France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Italy and Hungary were also reportedly targeted by Russian operatives.

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