Russia plans to investigate American media outlets to determine whether they illegally influenced the Kremlin’s 2016 parliamentary elections, according to a Wednesday Moscow Times report.
Leonid Levin, head of the legislative Committee on Information and Communication, reportedly said CNN, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe were among those being investigated.
He said the work of journalists at those outlets could have interfered with Russian election results.
"The structures we are discussing are part of a larger American system of pressure on our country. They are using a variety of instruments in respect to both the Russian electoral process and on our country as a whole,” Levin said Tuesday at a State Duma committee meeting, according to the Moscow newspaper.
He said the committee invited representatives from both CNN and Voice of America to appear before it, but neither responded.
The U.S. funds Voice of America and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, while CNN is a privately owned broadcast company.
Levin noted that the U.S. is conducting similar investigations on Russian media.
“The U.S. Senate is considering a bill which grants the U.S. Justice Ministry — including the FBI — additional powers to investigate potential violations of U.S. law by RT America. Similar claims have been leveled at [state-funded English-language news website] Sputnik and other Russian media," Levin continued.
At the end of March, the leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said its investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential campaign was expanding.
Lawmakers said at the time they were revewing documents, scheduling interviews and preparing to issue subpoenas as needed.