On Eve of Putin-Trump Meeting, Mueller Investigation Indicts 12 Russian Military Officials: Americans Demand Answers

Statement by Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn

President Trump will be meeting alone next week with Vladimir Putin, who ordered a “campaign aimed at the US presidential election” to “undermine the US-led liberal democratic order” and “to undermine public faith in the US democratic process” with a “clear preference for President Trump,” according to the unanimous intelligence community’s assessment of Russian interference last year.

If there were ever a country-over-party moment, this is it. Although we cannot trust that the president will hold Putin accountable next week, we the people must do so.

Today’s latest indictments by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is against 12 Russian military hackers who broke into the DNC, the DCCC, state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and vendors that supply software and technology related to election administration. It is more damning evidence of the serious nature of the attack on our democracy. It underscores the importance of bolstering the independence and integrity of the investigation and taking all necessary steps to shore up the integrity of our election systems to guard against hacking and intrusions.

Any efforts by the president to interfere in this investigation will cross a red line in the sand and will be met with a ferocious resistance. The multiple guilty pleas and three dozen indictments – including of the president’s own campaign chairman – indicate that the investigation is working.

The indictments today further underline what we already know.  Our election infrastructure is under attack by sophisticated nation-state attackers.  We cannot prevent these attacks but we can make our election infrastructure strong and resilient.  With respect to voting machines and voting systems, we know that votes on ballots can be protected if they are recorded on paper that is then verified by the voter.  And with respect to vote counts – we know we can have confidence in those counts if they are audited in a robust manner using the actual physical paper ballots.  Risk-limiting audits can produce that level of voter confidence.

The American people deserve answers and accountability and we will not rest until we achieve both.


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