Two of the top Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen demanding access to documents showing what President Obama and his administration knew about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. House Reps. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows are asking to see the documents that were used in congressional briefings at the time in an ongoing attempt to see what actions the Obama administration took to shore up election security ahead of the election.
Jordan and Meadows have expressed skepticism about how seriously the Obama administration took the Russian scheme; they have indicated that Russia’s interference – such that it was – only appeared to take on national importance after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. It was then, and only then, that President Obama and his intelligence agencies began to treat Russian interference as an “act of war,” as more than one liberal pundit has put it.
To that point, it’s worth taking a little trip back in time to June 2017, when The New York Times ran a feature story about this very issue. In it, they spoke to Obama officials who admitted that they thought it best to adopt a light-touch approach to Russian interference in the run-up to the election.
From that story:
The Obama administration feared that acknowledging Russian meddling in the 2016 election would reveal too much about intelligence gathering and be interpreted as “taking sides” in the race, the former secretary of homeland security said Wednesday.
“One of the candidates, as you recall, was predicting that the election was going to be ‘rigged’ in some way,” said Jeh Johnson, the former secretary, referring to President Trump’s unsubstantiated accusation before Election Day. “We were concerned that by making the statement we might, in and of itself, be challenging the integrity of the election process itself.”
Mr. Johnson’s testimony, before the House Intelligence Committee, provided a fresh insight into how the Obama administration tried to balance politically explosive information with the public’s need to know. That question also vexed federal law enforcement officials investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
The truth of the matter is that they thought all along that Clinton would win the election, and so they didn’t see the need in ringing the alarm bells. Make no mistake, though; if they actually thought that the Russians were hacking and meddling and propagandizing their way towards actually influencing an American election, they would not have been so cautious. The evidence that they did not consider this meddling a real threat is found in the fact that…they didn’t do anything about it. By the way, this same evidence can be used to explain why Donald Trump remains in office to this day. Think that would be the case if they REALLY believed him to be a secret Russian agent? Come on.
This whole thing is phony political nonsense, and Meadows and Jordan are out to prove it.