Durbin Statement On Special Counsel Indictment Of 12 Russians For Hacking In 2016 U.S. Election

U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced Special Counsel Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russians for their activities to interfere in the 2016 election by engaging in a sustained operation to hack into the computer networks of Democratic campaign organizations, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and state and local election administrators and vendors. The indicted individuals were members of Russian military intelligence, known as the GRU.

The 2018 elections are just four months away.  It is past time for President Trump, his inner circle, and Congressional Republicans to stop accepting Russian President Putin’s brazen denials and take this threat to our democracy seriously.   The Republicans who control Congress must stop threatening Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller and instead do their job and pass laws that will deter and punish election interference.

I have said many times that this was an act of cyber warfare against our country.  When the Intelligence Community’s report came out in January 2017, what we should have done was to immediately mobilize a response to get to the bottom of what happened, hold accountable those who were involved, secure our election infrastructure from further attack, and take strong steps to deter Russia and other foreign adversaries from ever trying to influence our elections again.  Sadly, that has not happened. 

Illinois was one of the states that Russian hackers successfully targeted during the 2016 election.  Up until today, it was our understanding that Russian hackers accessed approximately 90,000 voter registration records in Illinois alone.  Today’s indictment stated that the individuals ‘hacked the website of a state board of elections… and stole information related to approximately 500,000 voters, including names, addresses, partial social security numbers, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers.’  If this is in reference to the Illinois State Board of Elections, we must get to the bottom of it immediately.

Special Counsel Mueller has filed more than 100 criminal counts against 32 individuals and three Russian corporations.  Among the people previously charged are 14 Russians and three Trump associates who have already pleaded guilty.