Congress

House Democrats question Trump-Russia connections

Shutterstock image. Copyright: Albert H. Teich

Shutterstock image. Copyright: Albert H. Teich

Several House Democrats have asked the FBI to "assess" connections between Republican nominee Donald Trump's campaign officials and Russian interests after hackers breached Democratic Party databases.

In an Aug. 30 letter, Democratic Reps. Elijah Cummings (Md.), John Conyers, Jr. (Mich.), Elliot Engel (N.Y.), and Bennie Thompson, (Miss.) asked FBI Director James Comey to look into whether Trump campaign officials' ties to "Russian interests" might have contributed to cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee earlier this summer.

The legislators are the ranking Democrats on the House Oversight, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees, respectively. Their letter cites extensive news coverage of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's praise of Russian Premier Vladimir Putin, and of Trump supporter Roger Stone's reported discussions with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about an "October Surprise."

The congressmen also noted the recent resignation of now-former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort after questions surfaced regarding his work with pro-Russian groups in Ukraine. The letter also noted a July speech in Moscow by Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page that was highly critical of U.S. policy, along with his reported links to Russian energy conglomerate Gazprom and communications with Russian officials who are currently under U.S. government sanctions.

"Serious questions have been raised about overt and covert actions by Trump campaign officials on behalf of Russian interests," the letter states.  "It is critical for the American public to know whether those actions may have directly caused or indirectly motivated attacks against Democratic institutions and our fundamental election process."

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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