Lofgren Reacts to Senate Stripping Provision Requiring Campaigns to Report Illicit Foreign Election Assistance from Intelligence Bill
San Jose, Calif. – Committee on House Administration Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) issued the following statement today after Senate Republicans struck language from the National Defense Authorization Act to require campaigns to notify federal authorities about offers of foreign campaign help:
“If a foreign government offers illegal help to a political campaign, most Americans know that the campaign ought to report it to law enforcement. Intelligence officials have warned about efforts by foreign adversaries to use the 2020 elections to weaken our democratic institutions, undermine our alliances, and advance hostile interests.
“As his impeachment laid bare, the President is prone to abuse his power to urge foreign governments to do him “a favor” in connection with his election. Just last year, Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, as discussed in his report, identified “multiple links between Trump Campaign officials and individuals tied to the Russian government. Those links included Russian offers of assistance to the Campaign. In some instances, the Campaign was receptive to the offer.”
“Guardrails are clearly necessary. Today’s shameful back-room maneuver by Senate Republicans is squarely aimed at undermining the integrity of our elections, and will only serve to encourage dishonest election behavior, and make it harder to hold those engaging in unlawful activities with foreign actors accountable by law.”
The commonsense language from Senator Warner was adopted on a bipartisan basis in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and should be included in the underlying legislation. The House passed similar “duty to report” language earlier this Congress in the SHIELD Act, legislation authored by Chairperson Lofgren to protect our elections from foreign influence operations.
# # #