Jack Reed asks Obama to declassify intel on Russia and election

Jack Reed 1-21-2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – U.S. Sen. Jack Reed and six other Senate Democrats are asking President Obama to declassify information regarding the Russian government’s alleged efforts to influence this month’s presidential election.

The terse three-sentence letter, sent Tuesday, reads simply: “We believe there is additional information concerning the Russian Government and the U.S. election that should be declassified and released to the public. We are conveying specifics through classified channels.”

“Thank you for your attention to this important matter,” the senators said.

Many Democrats have accused Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime of using cyber-espionage to undermine their presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help Republican Donald Trump win the White House. As an example, they’ve cited emails that were stolen from her campaign and the Democratic National Committee, then released to the public.

Reed serves as an ex officio member of the Senate Intelligence Committee because he is the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. The letter’s other signatories were Intelligence Committee members Ron Wyden of Oregon, Mark Warner of Virginia, Barbara Milkulski of Maryland, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Angus King of Maine and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii. (King is an independent but caucuses with the Democrats.)

California’s Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the intelligence panel, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, another ex officio member, did not sign the letter.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes The Saturday Morning Post and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram