Democrats: FBI Should Eye Trump Campaign's Relationship With Russia

A quartet of House ranking members—which means Democrats—has asked the FBI to look into whether ties between Donald Trump's campaign officials and Russia might have contributed to attacks on the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as a way to affect the U.S. elections.

In a letter to FBI director James Comey this week, the legislators said that "serious questions have been raised about overt and covert actions by Trump campaign officials on behalf of Russian interests and that "it is critical for the American public to know whether those actions may have directly caused or indirectly motivated" the attacks.

They also cited, among other things, Donald Trump's suggestion that Russia should hack Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's emails—Trump has said he was only joking—and Trump's praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

They ended a laundry list of examples with the concession they did not know if any of them led directly or indirectly to any Russian hacks but suggested in the interests of thoroughness that the U.S. should take "all possible steps" to prevent Russia from interfering with the election.

Sending the letter were Reps. Elijah Cummings (Md.), ranking member of the Government Reform Committee; John Conyers (Mich.), Elliot Engel (N.Y.), ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Bennie Thompson (Miss.), ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.