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Tech Tuesday: Election Security

Jul 30, 2019
Voting booths
Flickr.com / Flickr

Russia targeted election systems in all 50 states during the 2016 election, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The report didn't conclude that any votes were changed because of these attempts. But the committee did find what they called, "an unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastucture" looking for vulnerabilities.

Today on All Sides, election security, data anonymization, and more.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, one of the last remaining survivors of President Trump's original national security team, will leave the administration on August 15, the president said in a tweet on Sunday.

Updated at 3:59 p.m. ET

The Senate intelligence committee has released its report detailing Russia's targeting of election systems in 2016 along with recommendations for protecting American elections from foreign interference.

The committee's final report on election security appeared Thursday as the 2020 presidential race gets underway in what promises to be a bitter and divisive election battle.

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

Peril from foreign interference in American elections will persist through the 2020 presidential race, former special counsel Robert Mueller warned on Wednesday.

Asked whether Russia would attempt to attack future U.S. elections, as it did in 2016, Mueller replied: "They're doing it as we sit here."

Mueller didn't detail a prescription for how he believes Congress or the United States should respond, but he recommended generally that intelligence and law enforcement agencies should work together.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

Congress has delayed testimony by former special counsel Robert Mueller one week to permit lawmakers to get more time to question him, committee leaders said on Friday.

Mueller had been scheduled to appear on the morning of July 17 before the House Judiciary Committee and then that afternoon before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

That was put on hold after grumbling by some members of Congress over the rules of procedure for the sessions.

Updated at 11:14 p.m. ET

Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by President Trump, giving Democrats the star witness they have long wanted to put before the American public.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

The House has authorized its committee leaders to pursue civil contempt cases to get information for their myriad investigations into President Trump.

Although the vote, 229-191, clears the way for more lawsuits against Cabinet departments, administration officials, bankers, accountants and more, it represented a sidestep from a more aggressive partisan confrontation that might have been.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

The House voted on Tuesday to authorize its committees to sue the Trump administration and others in pursuit of witnesses and documents for their manifold investigations into President Trump.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday on a civil contempt resolution against Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn.

Here's what you need to know about what it means and how it came about:

Democrats vs. DOJ

Democrats, who control the majority in the House, want Barr to give them an unredacted copy of the report filed by former special counsel Robert Mueller on his Russia investigation.

They also want the underlying evidence that Mueller's office developed.

Updated at 1:14 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller stepped down Wednesday after concluding not only one of the highest-profile investigations in recent history, but one of the most distinctive codas in the career of any top Washington official.

Mueller addressed reporters at the Justice Department in his first public statement since taking over the Russia investigation, ending two years of near-silence even under one of the hottest spotlights ever to burn on a public figure.

Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller shut down his Russia investigation on Wednesday in an unusual appearance in which he restated his findings and made clear that he never considered it an option to charge President Trump.

"We are formally closing the special counsel's office," Mueller told reporters at the Justice Department on Wednesday morning.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

Negotiations over a potential infrastructure program fizzled on Wednesday as a White House meeting between President Trump and Democrats escalated into blame-trading and political threats — including impeachment.

The president was the first to appear after the session in a Rose Garden availability that he used to renew his call for Democrats to abandon investigations into him if they want to negotiate over improving the nation's roads and bridges or other legislation.

Updated at 7:09 p.m. ET

A federal judge ruled against President Trump on Monday in a subpoena dispute not long after the White House said it is seeking to block its former top lawyer from talking to Congress.

The events amounted to a win — and a loss — apiece for Republicans and Democrats in their ongoing high-stakes legal and political war over separation of powers and oversight in the aftermath of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The McGahn matter

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Sochi Tuesday, holding talks that are aimed at improving relations between Washington and Moscow. But the discussions also allowed them to air their disagreements — and they took advantage of that, diverging on topics from Russia's attempts to destabilize other countries to how to resolve crises in Venezuela, Iran and other complicated issues.

If House Democrats ultimately begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump, last week will be remembered as one of the pivotal turning points.

Trump's decision to invoke executive privilege over the full report by special counsel Robert Mueller is prompting impeachment skeptics like Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., to reconsider.

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