Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-Boston), the Ranking Member of the National Security subcommittee, sent a letter to Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz calling for the committee to reassert its jurisdiction and begin a bipartisan investigation to examine reports that Russia engaged in cyberespionage to interfere with the 2016 United States presidential election. In the wake of growing concerns about the ability of the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to conduct an impartial investigation, Congressman Lynch called on the Oversight Committee to initiate a bipartisan investigation to restore the credibility of the House of Representatives in examining this critical issue.
“We owe it to the American people to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the cyberattacks during the recent presidential election. The faith in our electoral process and democratic institutions is at risk here and a thorough, competent Oversight investigation will help ensure the integrity and security of future American elections,” said Congressman Lynch. “Chairman Nunes’ highly unusual behavior, including his decision to not disclose a visit to the White House and to cancel an upcoming open Intelligence Committee hearing, calls into question his commitment and ability to conduct this critical bipartisan inquiry.”
In particular, the letter notes that under House Rules, “the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ‘may at any time conduct investigations of any matter without regard to’ the specific jurisdiction that Rule X confers to other standing committees.” While the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence established investigation parameters including “the extent of Russian cyber-activity and other ‘active measures’ directed against the U.S. and its allies, whether ‘Russian active measures include links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns or any other U.S. Persons,’ and the appropriateness of the U.S. response to Russian active measures,” Chairman Nunes’ recent actions raise concerns about his commitment to these investigative responsibilities.
Congressman Lynch first sent a letter in December of 2016 to Oversight Chairman Chaffetz calling for a bipartisan Oversight investigation to examine reports that Russia engaged in cyberespionage targeting the U.S. to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Congressman Lynch and Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings spoke out about Republican inaction to initiate an investigation during a February Oversight hearing.
Congressman Lynch also joined Ranking Member Cummings on multiple letters calling for investigations into General Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials. In addition, Congressman Lynch is an original cosponsor of H.R. 356, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, which creates an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. The bipartisan legislation has 198 cosponsors.