The top Democrats on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees want the federal government to release any reports it’s compiled on the hack of the Democratic National Committee that resulted in nearly 20,000 emails to and from top DNC officials being posted on WikiLeaks.
“In its timing, content, and manner of release, the email dissemination was clearly intended to undermine the Democratic Party and the presidential campaign of Secretary Hillary Clinton, and disrupt the Democratic Party’s convention in Philadelphia,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.) wrote of the WikiLeaks dump in a Wednesday letter to President Obama.
Robby Mook, campaign manager for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, has told several TV news anchors since Sunday that experts told his team they thought Russian state actors stole the emails to help Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The New York Times reported Tuesday that U.S. intelligence agencies have “high confidence” the Russian government was behind the hack, though the motives are not yet known.
“Given the grave nature of this breach and the fact that it may ultimately be found to be a state-sponsored attempt to manipulate our presidential election, we believe a heightened measure of transparency is warranted,” Feinstein and Schiff added.
The California Democrats called on the White House to consider declassifying and releasing to the public “any Intelligence Community assessments” on the DNC hack. Feinstein and Schiff said that would include anything that could explain possible motives for the Russian government to perpetrate the hack as well as “why President Putin could potentially feel compelled to authorize such an operation, given the high likelihood of eventual attribution.”
The leaks have already led to DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announcing she will resign from her post.
Trump called the idea Russia hacked the DNC for his benefit “one of the most far fetched things” he’s heard on Wednesday, saying he knew nothing about it. Though he added: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
The office of Paul Ryan condemned any potential Russian involvement. “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug,” Ryan’s Chief Communications Advisor Brendan Buck said in an emailed statement. “Putin should stay out of this election.”
“If Russia made the material available to WikiLeaks for release, then the episode would represent an unprecedented attempt to meddle in American domestic politics-one that would demand a response by the United States,” Feinstein and Schiff wrote to Obama.