Schiff Statement on Special Counsel Indictment
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement:
“Today’s indictment by the Special Counsel demonstrates yet again the extraordinary level of detailed evidence proving Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S presidential election, and the Kremlin’s efforts to hurt Hillary Clinton and help the Trump campaign. The indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking Clinton campaign officials, the DNC, and the DCCC also reaffirms the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment which found that the Russian government directly interfered in the 2016 election by targeting the Democratic Party. Russian intelligence agencies also sought to penetrate the systems through which elections are conducted in the United States, by hacking state boards of elections, software vendors, and others.
“The indictment lays out just some of the evidence of how Russia illegally obtained emails and other documents through hacking and spear-phishing, and then released them in order to cause maximum effect. As with the earlier indictment against Russian nationals involved in the Internet Research Agency, this indictment leaves open the vital question of whether Americans associated with the Trump campaign conspired with Russian hackers in the dissemination of the stolen materials. The indictment notes that the GRU, through the Guccifer 2.0 persona it created, corresponded with U.S. persons about the release of stolen documents, including a person in regular contact with senior members of the Trump Campaign about information the Russians had stolen and posted online. We also know from George Papadopoulos’s guilty plea that he was made aware – within weeks of the first Russian hacks – that the Russians possessed thousands of Hillary Clinton-related emails, which the Russians could assist the Trump campaign by releasing anonymously.
“The indictment comes days before President Trump plans to meet with President Putin in Helsinki. Because it is abundantly clear that the President will not confront Putin on the charges laid out in this indictment and its predecessor, and in the wake of his disastrous visit with our allies, it is in the strong national security interests of the United States for the President to cancel any meeting with Putin. The American people need and deserve a president who stands up to foreign interference and puts the interests of our country first.”