A bipartisan group of senators is formally asking Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to support a select committee to investigate possible Russian interference in the presidential election and potentially develop legislation to prevent cyberattacks.
“Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American. Cybersecurity is the ultimate cross-jurisdictional challenge, and we must take a comprehensive approach to meet this challenge effectively,” the senators wrote in the letter, released Sunday.
The senators said Congress’s oversight committees have worked “diligently” to address cybersecurity, but that only a “time-limited, cross-jurisdictional, and purpose drive” select committee can address the challenge.
The letter is from Democratic Sens. Charles E. Schumer of New York and Jack Reed of Rhode Island, as well as GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
“We share your respect for, and deference to, the regular order of the Senate, and we recognize that this is an extraordinary request. However, we believe it is justified by the extraordinary scope and scale of the cyber problem,” the senators wrote.
Mr. McConnell has said the Senate will investigate the matter through “regular order,” rather than such a bipartisan commission.
He has said Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, will look into the matter, as will Mr. McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.
President Obama said late last week that intelligence reports he’s seen give him great confidence in intelligence assessments that Russians carried out the hacks of Democratic officials’ emails during the campaign.
President-elect Donald Trump has expressed skepticism about Russian involvement, saying the hacks could have been carried out by another country or a private individual, for example.