MUST SEE: Cummings on Russian Interference in U.S. Election: “This is a Fight for the Soul of our Democracy”
MUST SEE: Cummings on Russian Interference in
U.S. Election: “This is a Fight for the Soul of our Democracy”
Today on CNN, Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings reiterated his call for
an immediate independent investigation of Russia’s involvement and interference in the 2016 election.
Click here to see today’s interview on CNN.
Wolf: Here in Washington, the House Speaker Paul Ryan, the House Intelligence Chairman Devon Nunes, they’re vowing to continue an existing intelligence committee investigation into Russian hacking during the U.S. elections, but ranking Democrats on several committees say that's not enough. One of those Democrats, Maryland Congressman, Elijah Cummings, he’s joining us now from Baltimore, he is the ranking member of the house oversight committee, why isn't that enough, Congressman?
Cummings: Well first of all, Mr. Nunes is on Donald Trump’s transition team. And one of the things that we need to do in this situation is we need to have an investigation that has integrity. I listened to one of your earlier guests talking about whether the motives for the Russians’ interference was to sway the election in Donald Trump’s favor. Let’s be clear. To me, that’s a distraction. The question is that we've got 17 intelligence agencies that put their lives on the line that we pay $70 billion a year to get intelligence, and they have said a fact that the Russians did interfere with our elections. Whatever the motive may be Wolf, we need to look into that, and it needs to be bipartisan, it needs to be independent. I believe that it needs to be a Commission—something like the 9/11 Commission—where you don't get all muddied in politics because the American people deserve to know if a foreign government—which is not a friend of the United States— is interfering with our elections.
Wolf: President Obama the other day announced he wants a full scale intelligence community investigation, and he wants the results before he leaves office on January 20th. Why isn't that enough?
Cummings: First of all, I applaud the President for doing that, but I think that will get us some basic information to start with. This investigation—to do properly—may take quite a while and long after the President has left office. But there is something else that needs to happen. The entire Congress needs to know about what is going on with the Russians. Only a few Members of Congress now have seen the secret documents. That’s one of the reasons why I joined Steny Hoyer and many others in asking that we have a briefing from our intelligence community.
Seventeen intelligence agencies have told us that the highest level of the Russian government was involved in this and that it happened. So now how do we figure out how it happened, and how we can prevent it from happening in the future. Now if they had certain motives, I think that those things will come up in the midst of this investigation.
We have always said in our committee that we follow the evidence wherever it may lead, but right now I’m more concerned with just trying to figure out exactly what happened, how it happened, and how can we make sure it doesn't happen again. Every American should be are concerned about that, and as I've said to you before Wolf, this is a fight for the soul of our democracy, and I’m going to fight with everything I’ve got.