The letter was sent to GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner. Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy is leading the effort, with Democratic Reps. Andre Carson and Eric Swalwell joining on, as well. A copy was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“We write regarding recent comments by presidential nominee Donald Trump that raise serious questions about his encouragement of cyberattacks against Americans and foreign influence in our upcoming elections,” the letter reads. “We request that you hold a hearing to determine whether there are appropriate federal criminal statutes and federal court jurisdiction to address individuals’ actions that encourage foreign actors to carry out cyberattacks against U.S. citizens and influence or manipulate our electoral process.”
Sensenbrenner is chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.
The letter references comments Trump made July 27, 2016, in Florida, regarding Clinton’s missing emails, when he stated: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.”
Given Trump’s clarification July 27, the same day he made his original comments, it’s unclear whether the request in the letter to Sensenbrenner will be taken seriously.
According to Murphy, Carson and Swalwell, Trump’s remarks appear to encourage Russia to initiate cyberattacks against Clinton, in order to obtain emails sent during her tenure as secretary of state during the Obama administration.
“This troubling statement also is seen as promoting a foreign government to meddle in U.S. elections, which follows Russian attempts to influence elections in Europe in a similar manner,” the letter adds.
As a result, these members of Congress are asking Sensenbrenner to hold a hearing to “examine the Logan Act, the Espionage Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and other relevant laws to determine if appropriate federal criminal statutes and court jurisdiction exist to prevent individuals from conspiring with foreign governments to undermine our democracy and target American citizens.”
If that wasn’t enough, the letter also requests Sensenbrenner hold the hearing rather quickly, as Trump still has access to classified intelligence briefings.
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