Lawmakers and Activists Call on Obama to Declassify Russian Election Interference Information

This piece was updated on December 9.

After one of the most unusual elections in modern history—in which Clinton campaign executives sounded an alarm about Russia hacking the DNC—eight Democratic senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee are urging President Obama to declassify information related to Russia’s interference in the U.S. election.

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MA.), Mark Warner (D-VA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and ex-officio member Jack Reed (D-RI) last week released a letter sent to the President indicating that “there is additional information concerning the Russian Government and the U.S. election.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi—who has more access to classified information than other members of the body—said Friday that she agreed more information should be made public. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle plan to investigate potential interference.

It has been 12 years since the last declassification request by this many senators, and requests like these are unusual. The request also comes amid a flood of concerns about Russian influence on the election outcome, which was razor-thin and puts the Electoral College in opposition to the will of the American people.

Sources told CNN after the release that “the U.S. intelligence community is increasingly confident” that Russian forces interfered in the election process with the desire the shape the outcome, echoing an October statement by the Director of National Intelligence. In July, Feinstein and Schiff requested President Obama declassify information surrounding Russian election hacking. Schiff has said on record that he believes Russian interference in the election was meant to privilege Donald Trump.

“For months we’ve been hearing from intelligence officials about Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee and top Clinton campaign executives,” Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal wrote in a letter to the organization’s members. “Now, we have reason to believe that there’s more we don’t know.”

President Obama ordered a full report into Russian hacking during the 2016 election on Friday, including hacks that targeted Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff and the Democratic National Committee. He has not, however, committed to making the report public. The Feminist Majority has launched a petition asking President Obama to declassify more information concerning Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election process.


“We know you worked tirelessly during this election,” Smeal told FM activists. “Now we need your help in upholding the integrity of our elections.”




Carmen Rios is a self-proclaimed feminist superstar and the former digital editor at Ms. Her writing on queerness, gender, race and class has been published in print and online by outlets including BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, DAME, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic, the National Women’s History Museum, SIGNS and the Women’s Media Center; and she is a co-founder of Webby-nominated Argot Magazine. @carmenriosss|