Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) is requesting that the FBI investigate whether Russia is tampering with the US election. The request comes after several controversies surrounding the country, including allegations that Russia hacked into Democratic servers and released private e-mails in an effort to derail Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
In a letter to the FBI, Reid cites evidence that Russia is attempting to manipulate voter data in two unnamed states. The senator wrote that Russia’s involvement “is more extensive than is widely known and may include the intent to falsify official election results.” Reid went on to write that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “goal is tampering with this election.”
Recent investigations have discovered that voter data in one state had been exported and, in another, had been hacked. According to a government official, the states are Arizona and Illinois. Reid cited this as evidence of Russia’s involvement.
Russia has been the target of many accusations in recent months. Presidential candidate Donald Trump, after allegations were made that Russia hacked into Democratic servers, suggested that Russian hackers release private e-mails from Hillary Clinton as well. Paul Manafort recently resigned as CEO of the Trump campaign after his ties with Russian leadership were made known. Reid wrote that this, along with allegations that others in the Trump campaign have connections to Russian leadership, should prompt an investigation by the FBI.
“Trump and his people keep saying the election is rigged,” Senator Reid said. “Why is he saying that? Because people are telling him the election can be messed with.”
Senator Reid said that Russia, by concentrating on “less than six” swing states, could manipulate the results of the 2016 election, posing a dangerous threat to the future of the American electoral system.
While the White House has not explicitly accused Putin of interfering with the US elections, Reid said that mounting evidence as well as Trump’s public admiration of Putin points to the Russian president’s motive: to get Trump elected and keep Clinton out of the White House. This alone would be dangerous to the future of the US, Reid believes.