Rep. Schneider Leads Judiciary Colleagues to Request Urgent Briefing on Election Security from Department of Justice
Today, U.S. Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL), Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and fourteen Democratic Members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions requesting an urgent briefing from the Department of Justice on steps taken to protect the integrity of our elections.
“There is no issue more fundamental to our democracy than the integrity and security of our elections, including preventing foreign interference,” said Schneider. “With the next elections less than a year away, I was astonished Attorney General Sessions could not name any specific steps the Department has taken to prevent the kinds of meddling we witnessed in 2016. My colleagues and I urge the Attorney General to make good on his commitment to take immediate steps and quickly brief our committee on the DOJ’s efforts to address election vulnerabilities.”
At the Committee’s recent oversight hearing, Rep. Schneider asked the Attorney General about the efforts of the Department to protect our elections from foreign interference in the future: “given your acknowledgement that this is a serious, complex matter that is deserving of real review, specifically what steps have you taken to protect our elections next year?”
Attorney General Sessions responded: “I have not followed through to see where we are on that,” He later added: “I should be able to give you better information today than I am.”
In response to further questioning from Rep. Schneider, Attorney General Sessions committed that the Department would expeditiously arrange a briefing for Members on this topic.
In today’s letter, the Members request the briefing cover: (1) any review by the Department of existing statutes that may require updating or amendment prior to the next election; (2) the Department’s efforts to identify vulnerabilities in the federal election system; and (3) specific steps recommended by the Department to address those vulnerabilities
The briefing is requested before December 14, 2017, the last day Congress is scheduled to be in session this year.