In a joint letter to the White House Monday, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) requested to be given access to the intelligence that would back up the claims of President Obama and other officials that they are certain Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.
“Recent reports citing anonymous administration officials suggest that some intelligence agencies believe the Russian government interfered in the U.S. presidential election with the intention of aiding the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump,” began the letter signed by both Reps. Amash and Jones.
“The reports do not detail specific evidence to support these assertions, and some reports suggest there are disagreements among intelligence officials.”
“I will confirm that this happened at the highest levels of the Russian government,” Obama said in a press conference on Friday. “And I will let you make that determination as to whether there are high-level Russian officials who go off rogue and decide to tamper with the U.S. election process without Vladimir Putin knowing about it.” The president has even vowed retaliation by the U.S.
Amash and Jones want to see the evidence.
“It is incumbent upon the executive branch to keep Congress apprised of hostile foreign actions in a timely manner, and once an allegation has been made public, it is reckless to allow evidence-free assertions to serve as Congress’s and the public’s only source of information,” stated the congressmen’s joint letter request.
“In light of the conflicting information coming from your administration, the lack of public evidence, and the retaliation against Russia that is apparently already under development, Congress cannot wait to be briefed on this matter,” the letter continued.
“Accordingly, we request that a classified briefing on the evidence being used to support these claims be made available to all members of Congress immediately.”
Amash and Jones have never hesitated to be outspoken, and that includes directing their criticism toward both parties.
In 2013, Amash led the charge in the House against the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance activities revealed by agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Jones became one of the George W. Bush administration’s most vocal Republican critics over the Iraq War.