Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Schiff Statement on Cancellation of Election Security Briefings by Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Washington, August 29, 2020
Washington, DC – Today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) released the following statement following the cancellation of all election security briefings for the Congress by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence:
“The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has informed us that it will no longer provide briefings to Members of Congress, including the House and Senate Intelligence committees, on foreign efforts to interfere in our upcoming election. This is a shocking abdication of its lawful responsibility to keep the Congress currently informed, and a betrayal of the public’s right to know how foreign powers are trying to subvert our democracy. This intelligence belongs to the American people, not the agencies which are its custodian. And the American people have both the right and the need to know that another nation, Russia, is trying to help decide who their president should be.
“The ODNI had requested the opportunity to brief the intelligence committees and the full US House of Representatives in mid-September and has now cancelled those briefings and said it would hold no others. This is shameful and—coming only weeks before the election—demonstrates that the Trump Administration is engaged in a politicized effort to withhold election-related information from Congress and the American people at the precise moment that greater transparency and accountability is required. This keeps both the American people and the Congress in the dark, when both are in need of the information.
“Instead of transparency, the Trump Administration, including President Trump, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, has already sought to promote a false narrative of equivalence among the interests of several nations in U.S. elections and policy. The aims and actions of Russia, China, and Iran are not the same. Only one country—Russia—is actively undertaking a range of measures to undermine the presidential election and to secure the outcome that the Kremlin sees as best serving its interests.
“We expect the Administration and Intelligence Community to keep us fully and accurately informed, and resume the briefings. If they are unwilling to, we will consider the full range of tools available to the House to compel compliance.”