Top Democratic lawmakers are speaking out after intelligence officials accused Russia and Iran of attempting to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.
“We learned about disturbing threats from foreign adversaries aiming to influence the upcoming elections using voter registration data, in an effort to sow chaos and undermine voters’ trust in our elections and democratic institutions,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) wrote in a joint statement.
Noting the “bedrock of our democracy” in the U.S. is the right to vote and having that vote count, the two Democratic lawmakers declared, “We cannot allow voter intimidation or interference efforts, either foreign or domestic, to silence voters’ voices and take away that right.”
While calling the next two weeks “critical” — as there are only 12 days left until Election Day — Pelosi and Schiff said they are expecting to be briefed by officials on the reports of election interference and what the administration is doing in response on Thursday.
The two Congress members wrote:
“In the face of these ongoing attempts to undermine Americans’ confidence in our elections, it is more essential than ever that voters exercise their sacred constitutional right to vote and to participate in our democracy.”
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said during a press conference on Wednesday, “We have identified that two foreign actors, Iran and Russia, have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections,” as IJR reported.
Ratcliffe said that Russia and Iran have obtained some voter registration information, which, as he says, “can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos, and undermine your confidence in American democracy.”
He also claimed that Iran has sent out “spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump,” as well as has spread false information in videos.
Ratcliffe also said:
“These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries. Even if the adversaries pursue further attempts to intimidate or attempt to undermine voter confidence, know that our election systems are resilient, and you can be confident your votes are secure. Although we have not seen the same actions from Russia, we are aware that they have obtained some voter information just as they did in 2016.”
“Rest assured that we are prepared for the possibility of actions by those hostile to democracy,” Ratcliffe declared.
Additionally, FBI Director Christopher Wray said at the press conference, “We are not going to let our guard down.”
Russia has denied the accusations, as Kremlin officials said on Thursday, according to Reuters.