- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The chairman of the Democratic National Committee has asked his Republican counterpart to agree that neither party will weaponize stolen data during their 2020 campaigns.

In an open letter, Tom Perez pledged that Democrats will not campaign using stolen material and asked Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel to make the same promise.

“Although you and I profoundly disagree on how our candidates should campaign and elected leaders should govern, we should at the very least work together to assure the American people that the process will be fair, and send a message to our adversaries that we will not tolerate the theft and dissemination of private data in our electoral process,” Mr. Perez wrote Monday.

A spokesperson for the RNC referred to previous remarks made by Ms. McDaniel when reached for comment.

“Any breach of our political organizations — regardless of party — is an affront to all of us, and we should come together as Americans to prevent it from ever happening again. It’s important we do all we can to safeguard our future elections,” she said in 2018.

Democrats unsuccessfully proposed similar ground rules in the past after being targeted in a hacking campaign that resulted in internal DNC emails and other private correspondence being leaked online during the 2016 elections.

President Trump repeatedly touted the hacked emails during his 2016 campaign against former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, and his personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani defended their release over the weekend.

“There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians,” Mr. Giuliani said Sunday during an interview on CNN. “They shouldn’t have stolen it, but the American people were just given more information.”

Mr. Perez called such talk “an affront to our democracy that must be condemned by anyone who cares about our country’s future.”

“As the leaders of our country’s two largest political parties, we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of our democratic process,” he wrote. “That’s why I urge you to join me in condemning the weaponization of stolen private data in our electoral process.”

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