Homeland Security officials to testify before Senate Intelligence committee on election security
The Senate Intelligence Committee will question the current and former Homeland Security secretaries on Wednesday and focus on threats the U.S. election infrastructure could face as American voters prepare to cast ballots in the upcoming midterm elections.
Chairman Sen. Richard Burr and the committee’s top Democrat Sen. Mark Warner announced that the panel, which has been investigating Russian election meddling for more than a year, will interview Department of Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and former secretary Jeh Johnson, in addition to a range of academics and officials from the National Association of Secretaries of State and National Association of State Election Directors.
Last year, Mr. Johnson appeared before the House Intelligence Committee to discuss Russian attempts to hack into U.S. voting systems in 2016 and revealed that there had been some level of attacks on election systems in 21 states.
There was also discussion of the Obama White House’s response and what appeared to be a communications breakdown about the severity of the threat and difficulties the administration faced when trying issue public warnings about meddling amid criticism from then skeptical candidate Donald Trump.
The campaign was especially divisive and it has since been learned that the internet was awash in Russian propaganda leading up to the vote.
On Wednesday, according to Mr. Burr and Mr. Warner, the committee will “cover attempted attacks on state election infrastructure in 2016, DHS and FBI efforts to improve election security, and the view from the states on their cybersecurity posture.”