“We are gravely concerned, in particular, that Congress appear to be the target of a concerted foreign interference campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November,” read the Democrats’ July 13 letter issued to Director of the FBI Christopher Wray.
Without specifying a particular foreign threat, the letter argued that “members of congressional leadership and the congressional intelligence committees” believe it is “imperative that the FBI provide a classified defensive briefing to all Members of Congress and that the briefing draw on all-source intelligence information and analysis, consistent with due regard for the protection of sensitive intelligence sources and methods.”
The request was signed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-VA).
Lawmakers noted that they expect the office of the FBI to outline a plan for the meeting by July 20 and brief Congress prior to its August recess.
The letter, which was publicly released on Monday, was issued to the FBI just days before Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote to their Republican counterparts on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs (HSGAC) and the Senate Committee on Finance.
Citing recent reporting from the Washington Post, Peters and Wyden’s July 16 letter to Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) called for a briefing for “Members of our Committees from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Foreign Influence Task Force” and relevant members of the intelligence community regarding the ongoing HSGAC investigation into Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President and current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“Two weeks ago, the Washington Post reported that ‘a Ukrainian lawmaker who was once affiliated with a pro-Russian political party and has met with [Rudy] Giuliani released edited snippets of what appeared to be [Joe] Biden’s official vice presidential phone calls in 2016 with Petro Poroshenko,’” the Democrats wrote.
“The Post reported that this lawmaker ‘studied under the KGB in Moscow in the early 1990s’ and that these efforts ‘suggest a new push by foreign forces to sway American voters in the run-up to the 2020 election.’”