- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Top House Democrats on Tuesday asked the FBI to investigate a possible connection between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and suspected computer hacks by the Russian government.

In a letter to FBI Director James Comey, the lawmakers cited Mr. Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin and policy positions they said could benefit Russia as warranting an investigation.

“Serious questions have been raised about overt and covert actions by Trump campaign officials on behalf of Russian interests,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is critical for the American public to know whether those actions may have directly caused or indirectly motivated attacks against Democratic institutions and our fundamental election process.”

The letter was signed by the ranking Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees.

Russia has been accused of hacks into the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, possibly in a scheme to interfere with the U.S. presidential elections.

The hack of the DNC resulted in WikiLeaks publishing embarrassing emails that showed to DNC officials plotting against Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders in an effort to help Hillary Clinton, who later won the nomination.

The publication of the emails at the start of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last month prompted the residential of several top DNC officials, including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who stepped down from DNC chair.

To further the case against Mr. Trump, they noted his quip that Russia should hack into Mrs. Clinton’s email accounts to find the more than 30,000 messages she permanently erased from her time as secretary of state.

The also cited Reports that the former chairman of the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort, took payments from a pro-Russian political group in Ukraine between 2007 and 2012.

The letter was singed by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Oversight and Government Reform Committee, John Conyers Jr. of the Judiciary Committee, Elliot L. Engel of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Bennie G. Thompson of the Homeland Security Committee.

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