Dem asks Chaffetz to investigate Russian hacking

Dem asks Chaffetz to investigate Russian hacking
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A senior Democrat on the House Oversight Committee is pressing Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzFormer chairman appears at House Oversight contempt debate Republicans spend more than million at Trump properties House Dems seek to make officials feel the pain MORE (R-Utah) to open an investigation into Russia’s election interference.

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), the ranking Democrat of an Oversight subcommittee concerning national security, wrote a letter to Chaffetz released Thursday calling for a new committee probe.

Lynch noted that the Oversight Committee under GOP leadership has investigated other cyberattacks, including the breaches at the Office of Personnel Management and private companies like Target.

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“A bipartisan investigation to examine reports of Russian interference with U.S. federal elections would only further our ability to identify and address weaknesses in our public and private cyberdefenses in order to safeguard critical U.S. Government and private institutions against the sort of cyberattacks that the White House, the U.S. State Department, the Pentagon, and various commercial banks, retail chains, and other private companies have experienced in recent years,” Lynch wrote.

Chaffetz’s spokeswoman declined comment.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the full Oversight Committee’s top Democrat, previously asked Chaffetz in mid-November to investigate Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election. His request came before last week’s Washington Post report that the CIA concluded Russia deliberately meant to help President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE defeat Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate Trump says he's not prepared to lose in 2020 MORE.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck Ocasio-Cortez calls out Steve King, Liz Cheney amid controversy over concentration camp remarks Democrats talk up tax credits to counter Trump law MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden, Eastland and rejecting the cult of civility California governor predicts 'xenophobic' GOP will likely be third party in 15 years This week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request MORE (R-Ky.) say they back Intelligence Committee probes of Russia’s role, but haven’t gone as far as calling for separate, bipartisan investigations. 

They’ve rebuffed calls from Democrats for broader probes, such as in the form of a bipartisan commission.

Trump, meanwhile, has rejected the CIA’s conclusion.

In July, during his last press conference, he called on Russia to hack Clinton’s email. His team has since claimed Trump’s remark was meant in jest.

At least three Senate committees - Intelligence, Armed Services and Foreign Relations - are expected to review Russian hacking in the new Congress.

Chaffetz, who aggressively investigated Clinton’s use of a private email server, has to date declined to say if he’ll probe Russian hacking of Democratic campaign officials. The Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta were all victims of hacking believed to be conducted by hackers affiliated with the Russian government.

Democrats have also been urging Chaffetz to probe Trump’s potential conflicts of interest with his real estate empire upon assuming the presidency. But Chaffetz has said it’s premature for his committee to investigate Trump since the president-elect hasn’t been sworn into office yet. 

Trump originally planned to hold a press conference on Thursday to explain how he'd avoid conflicts of interest. But he scrapped the plan and now says it'll take place in January.