Ten Electoral College members have formally requested information from intelligence agencies about President-elect Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia and the influence that had on November’s election results.
In an open letter addressed to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the members called for the release of information “to investigate, discuss, and deliberate with our colleagues about whom to vote for in the electoral college.”
U.S. intelligence officials have assessed that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee as well as key Hillary Clinton staffers, and released damning emails and documents in order to secure the White House for Trump. The revelation has caused President Barack Obama to call for a “full review” of the intelligence on Russia’s involvement in interfering with the election.
The Electoral College members stated in their letter they would like to be privy to the information this investigation turns up, and that they are suspicious of the Trump transition team’s dismissal of these intelligence findings.
“The electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations,” the Electoral College members wrote in the letter.
“We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.”
The Clinton campaign has come out in support for the Electoral College members’ request.
“The bipartisan electors’ letter raises very grave issues involving our national security,” former Clinton campaign chair John Podesta said in a statement on Monday. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed.”
“We now know that the CIA has determined Russia’s interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American,” Podesta added.
The Electoral College will vote on December 19 to determine the presidency. While virtually unprecedented, the electors do have the power to buck the mandate given to them by the general election and instead cast their votes for another candidate.
However, it’s unlikely that the Electoral College would elect Clinton in Trump’s stead. The only Republican elector who has publicly refused to vote for Trump — Chris Suprun of Texas — has suggested voting for Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich.
Next, read up on the role that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally played in sabotaging America’s recent elections.