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Congressman Ruben Gallego

Representing the 7th District of Arizona

Democratic Congressmen request information about possible Russian interference in “Brexit” vote

December 12, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC ­– Today, Reps. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Eric Swallwell (CA-15), and Gerry Connolly (VA-11) sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats requesting information regarding the Intelligence Community’s assessment of possible Russian interference in the United Kingdom’s 2016 referendum over whether to withdraw from the European Union (“Brexit”).  Their request follows conclusive evidence that Russia sought to influence the results of the recent French and German elections, as well as the 2016 presidential race here in the United States.      

“Given the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, we believe this information could be useful in identifying patterns, understanding Russian methods, and bolstering future shared efforts to protect the integrity of our political and electoral systems from its interference,” the Congressmen wrote.

The full text of the letter is below and the signed letter can be found here.

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Dear Director Coats:

We write to request a written response and/or a classified briefing regarding the Intelligence Community’s (IC) assessment of possible Russian interference in the 2016 United Kingdom referendum over whether to withdraw from the European Union (“Brexit”).  We make this request in light of Russia’s interference in our 2016 presidential election campaign, credible reports of similar efforts to disrupt the recent French and German elections, and the continuing threat that Russia poses to Western democratic institutions.

Given the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, we believe this information could be useful in identifying patterns, understanding Russian methods, and bolstering future shared efforts to protect the integrity of our political and electoral systems from its interference.  This information also would allow us, as legislators, to have a more thorough understanding of the global threat that Russia poses to electoral integrity, so we can better craft legislation to address it at home and abroad.

We request that your response include answers to the following questions, along with any other information you believe is pertinent to our understanding:

  • Is there a unified IC assessment about the extent to which there was interference by Russia or third-state actors in the campaign regarding Brexit? If so, what is the assessment? If not, what are the differing views?
  • Did the IC find that non-British individuals interfered with the Brexit campaign via social media propaganda, hacking voter databases, and/or other means? If so, has the IC been able to link such individuals to any specific groups, governments, or political movements?
  • Did the IC find that any possible interference in the 2016 Brexit campaign showed any parallels to the Russian interference in our 2016 election?
  • Did the IC find that any British countermeasures helped stem the tide of any Russian interference?
  • If there was interference by Russia in the Brexit campaign, what lessons has the IC learned and/or what conclusions has it drawn regarding Russia’s methods that may be useful in better defending against future attacks on our own elections?

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

 

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