- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 28, 2016

Two of the intelligence community’s top-ranking Democrats urged President Obama on Wednesday to release to the public any evidence linking the Russian government to the Democratic National Committee hack.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrats, laid out the request in an open letter to Mr. Obama prompted by recent allegations concerning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged involvement in the DNC hack and WikiLeaks’ subsequent publication last week of 20,000 internal party emails.

“Earlier this week, the FBI announced that it had launched an investigation into the DNC hack, a step which we support. 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,” wrote Ms. Feinstein and Mr. Schiff, the vice chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, respectively.

“Specifically, we ask that the Administration consider declassifying and releasing, subject to redactions to protect sources and methods, any Intelligence Community assessments regarding the incident, including any that might illuminate potential Russian motivations for what would be an unprecedented interference in a U.S. Presidential race, and why President Putin could potentially feel compelled to authorize such an operation, given the high likelihood of eventual attribution,” they added.

As acknowledged in their letter to the president, cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike said last month that it had determined hackers acting on behalf of the Russian government had infiltrated DNC’s servers and exfiltrated sensitive emails. Several U.S. officials have since stated similarly, and an article published in New York Times this week attributes the intelligence community as believing with “high confidence” the hack was perpetrated by Russia.

According to Mr. Putin’s spokesman, however, “absurd claims” suggesting Russia colluded with Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump to carry out the hacked have been refuted by the White House hopeful’s own family.

“Overall, we still see attempts to use — manically use — the Russian issue during the U.S. electoral campaign,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

Asked earlier this week if Russia was the source of the emails supplied to WikiLeaks, co-founder Julian Assange told NBC News “there is no proof of that whatsoever.”

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