Speaker Ryan: Americans Want Answers Now
A week ago tomorrow, the Washington Post revealed what we’ve always known: Russia, under Putin’s direction and consent, helped Trump win the presidency against Secretary Hillary Clinton – deliberately undermining our democracy.
Predictably, and rightfully so, the American people demand answers. That’s why Leader Pelosi, Democratic leaders from both chambers, along with a few Senate Republicans, have called for a formal, bipartisan investigation. Speaker Ryan and Congressional Republican leadership, however, have preposterously barely moved a finger to look into Russia’s attempts to destabilize America’s institutions.
Congressional Republicans spent years investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails and launched a special committee to get to the bottom of the Benghazi attacks.
But when it comes to alleged Russian interference in the presidential election, the GOP appears to be taking a more restrained approach.
From The Huffington Post:
After a round of news stories about House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) stopping short of calling for a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, he once again stopped short of calling for a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.
From The Washington Post:
McConnell…said the Senate Intelligence Committee — of which he is a symbolic member as the chamber’s GOP leader — is “more than capable of conducting a complete review of the matter.” Ryan agreed, saying that a special panel is unnecessary…
U.S. intelligence officials now believe with “a high level of confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.
Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.
Ultimately, the CIA has assessed, the Russian government wanted to elect Donald Trump…
The latest intelligence said to show Putin’s involvement goes much further than the information the U.S. was relying on in October, when all 17 intelligence agencies signed onto a statement attributing the Democratic National Committee hack to Russia.
And the New York Times stated:
…there was never anything quite like the 2016 election campaign, when a handful of Democratic House candidates became targets of a Russian influence operation that made thousands of pages of documents stolen by hackers from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington available to Florida reporters and bloggers.
Why the Russian government might care about these unglamorous House races is a source of bafflement for some of the lawmakers who were targeted. But if the goal of Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, was to make American democracy a less attractive model to his own citizens and to Russia’s neighbors, then entangling congressional races in accusations of leaks and subterfuge was a step in the right direction.
This is why, as the Bloomberg Editorial Board has noted, the United States needs “an independent inquiry” to…
…restore faith in the electoral apparatus and assign accountability. It could shed light on Russia’s motives…[and] ensure that such meddling doesn’t happen again.
An independent commission offers the best chance of delivering a depoliticized investigation into this attack. It could go a long way toward restoring the integrity of the U.S. electoral process. And it might, at long last, help bring this ugly, divisive election to a proper end.
Speaker Ryan: Americans expect more than halfhearted, worthless responses. They want their leaders to act on protecting their freedom and democracy that our founders and our courageous men and women in uniform have fought for.