Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign will support the request made by several Electors to have the entire Electoral College given an intelligence brief on President-elect Donald Trump's alleged ties with the Russian government before officially ratifying his victory.
On Dec. 12, 10 members of the Electoral College signed a joint letter calling of FBI Director James Comey to disclose to them any potential connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election. The letter was posted on Extra News Feed.
Clinton's top political adviser, John Podesta, announced that her campaign would back the Electors' request to be given an intelligence briefing on the issue before Dec. 19, when the Electoral College is slated to make Trump's victory official.
"The bipartisan electors' letter raises very grave issues involving our national security," Podesta told Politico. "Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed."
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The top Clinton adviser added: "We now know that the CIA has determined Russia's interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American."
On Dec. 9, it was revealed that the CIA had secretly concluded before the 2016 presidential election that the Russian government had deliberately interfered in the race by hacking and leaking emails from the Clinton campaign and Democratic organizations. The CIA had also determined that Russia was acting not only to disrupt the race but to help elect Trump, The Washington Post reports.
"It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia's goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected," said one anonymous senior U.S. official. "That's the consensus view."
On Dec. 11, Trump dismissed the CIA's conclusion, telling Fox News Insider that the U.S. intelligence community's purported consensus was "just another excuse."
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"I don't believe [the CIA report] at all," Trump added.
On Dec. 12, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Majority Leader, announced his support for a congressional investigation into the alleged role that Russia played in the election, stating that he was alarmed by the U.S. intelligence community's findings.
"Any foreign breach of our cyber-security measures is disturbing, and I strongly condemn any such efforts," McConnell said, according to The Huffington Post. The Senate Majority, in a stark contrast to the president-elect, added that he had "the highest confidence in the intelligence community … the CIA is filled with selfless patriots, many of whom anonymously risk their lives for the American people."
In their letter to Comey, the 10 Electors demanded to be briefed on what the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community had learned about Russia's involvement in the election, citing concerns about Trump's role in the controversy.
"The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations have reached, and who was involved in those investigations," the letter stated.
"We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States," they added in the letter.
Democratic Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut, one of the Electors who had signed the letter, later stated that he had concerns over whether or not Trump is "a danger to the republic."
The Elector added that preventing Trump from assuming office would be legally challenging, but asserted that he would "rather have a legal problem … [than] to find out the White House was now the Kremlin's chief ally."