L’Italien Calls for Congressional Action on Russian Election Interference
State Semator Barbara L'Italien
(Editor's note: The following information was released by the office of State Sen. Barbara L'Italien.)
State senator and Third Congressional District candidate Barbara L’Italien yesterday issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s bizarre and alarming press conference in which he accepted the word of President Putin that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election over the U.S. intelligence community’s findings:
“I never imagined the President of the United States taking the word of a nation that attacked us over our own law enforcement and intelligence communities. My dad was an FBI agent who specialized in countering Russian espionage. He dedicated his career to protecting this country from Russia. He must be turning over in his grave.
“Whether Donald Trump is compromised or being outplayed I will leave to the Special Counsel to decide. But it is clear he is not going to live up to his responsibility to safeguard us. Elected officials have to go beyond expressing concern and actually do something.
“It is time for Congress to pass the bipartisan DETER Act to make the penalties for Russian election interference clear and automatic, so we do not have to rely on Trump to take action, and to override any Trump veto. It is time for Congress to ensure the states and the Department of Homeland Security have everything they need to work together to secure our election infrastructure and replace all paperless ballots. And it is beyond time for Congress to protect the Mueller investigation and make sure he has everything he needs to see it through. America deserves to know for sure whether or not its president is acting as the agent of a foreign country.
“More broadly, it is time for Republicans to decide whether their loyalty to Trump is more important than their loyalty to our country. I'm calling on Rick Green, the Republican nominee in this race, to condemn Trump's remarks, and to commit to supporting all of these steps if he is elected. This should not be a partisan issue, and it should not be an issue in this race.”