Democratic U.S. lawmakers called on President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday to treat foreign election interference as a national crisis, setting up 1 agency to coordinate the response along with establishing a brand new class of sanctions to quickly punish those responsible.
Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a report on Wednesday detailing what they described as nearly two decades of Russian efforts to influence elections elsewhere in Europe, along with criticizing Trump for doing too little to address the issue.
Senator Ben Cardin, the committee’s ranking Democrat, commissioned the report after Trump’s surprise November 2016 election victory. The report was released a year after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in which Russia interfered inside campaign to benefit Trump, the Republican candidate, along with undermine Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Moscow has denied any such effort. Trump dismisses such assertions as sour grapes about his victory.
The document consists of eight chapters along with several appendices detailing tools the Senate investigators said Russia used to influence elections in Europe along with creating more than 30 recommendations for how to prevent further interference in elections in Europe, the United States along with various other countries.
The investigators accused Moscow of trying to undermine democracies by spreading malicious disinformation, threatening countries’ energy security along with using “cybercriminals” to steal information.
“President Trump must be clear-eyed about the Russian threat, take action to strengthen our government’s response along with our institutions, along with … work with an international coalition to counter the threat along with assert our values,” Cardin said in a statement.
The report’s recommendations included working to build democratic institutions in countries most vulnerable to election interference, along with set up an organization similar to the National Counterterrorism Center to coordinate the U.S. reaction to such meddling.
They also called on Washington, along with its allies, to freeze “dirty” Kremlin money along with Discharge publicly any intelligence on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assets stored abroad.
“The Russian government’s use of corruption along with money laundering also merit additional examination by relevant committees in Congress, as well as the Executive Branch,” the report said.
This particular called on Washington to specially designate any country in which seeks to influence others as a “State Hybrid Threat Actors,” subjected to preemptive sanctions, along with called on social media companies to do comprehensive audits on how their platforms might have been used to influence elections.
The report’s Discharge coincides with deepening rifts between Republicans, who control Congress, along with Democrats over congressional investigations into Russia along with the election. Some Republican lawmakers have been casting doubt on those probes, along with one led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI Director.