Rep. Waters’ Statement on the Indictment of 13 Russian Nationals and 3 Russian Entities for Election Interference
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, released the following statement upon the announcement that 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities were indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for their roles in a plot to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and to support Donald Trump’s presidential campaign:
“The indictment, filed by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III against thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian entities for interfering with United States elections, is another piece of an enormously complex puzzle that outlines the extraordinary steps Russia has taken to undermine our democracy. The indictment details an elaborate, far-reaching and well-financed operation that the perpetrators themselves described as ‘information warfare against the United States of America.’ During any other presidential administration, and during any other time in history, Americans could have confidently expected swift, decisive, and well-justified action from their government, and specifically their commander-in-chief. Unfortunately, in today’s America, Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, in lock-step with the right-wing media, have, to this point, been more focused on running their own elaborate, far-reaching and well-financed public relations campaign to undermine the Special Counsel and his investigation.
“Although Congress passed a bill last year requiring the imposition of sanctions ‘on and after’ January 29, 2018 as punishment for Russian meddling in our elections, the Trump Administration has, thus far, failed to impose the sanctions called for under that law. I recently questioned Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on those sanctions, but he failed to provide an adequate explanation as to the Trump Administration’s inaction. Failure by federal officials to fully support the Special Counsel’s investigation, and to respond appropriately to the information we learn about the methods employed by Russians to interfere in our elections, is at best negligence, and at worst a willful dereliction of our sworn duty to the American people.
“While much of discussion regarding Russian influence in our democratic process has focused on the 2016 presidential election, today’s indictment also confirms that Russia’s interference is not limited to merely presidential elections; it extends to every corner of our democracy including federal, state and local elections as well as regulatory rulemaking processes. In October, I revealed that Kremlin-linked accounts were targeting me on social media, and my fear was then, and is today, that Russia will continue to attack my congressional colleagues and congressional candidates heading into the 2018 elections and beyond. One of the primary Russian accounts responsible for attacks on me, @TEN_GOP, masqueraded as the Twitter account for the Tennessee Republican Party and tweeted falsehoods and lies about me and my district. Today, the @TEN_GOP account was explicitly mentioned in Special Counsel Mueller’s indictments as one of the many examples of foreign operated accounts existing solely to sow discord in the United States political system.
“With the 2018 elections a few months away, the United States government cannot allow such interference by Russia, or any other foreign entity, to continue. While it is evident that the Special Counsel’s investigation will yield the answers we so desperately need, it is imperative that Members of Congress act on the information that has been revealed so far, and work to ensure that our constituents fully understand the clear and immediate threat that Russia poses to our democratic process, national security and most sacred traditions.”