Democratic lawmakers are pressing House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to subpoena the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for documents related to Russia’s efforts to target state systems ahead of the 2016 presidential election. In a letter sent to Gowdy on Monday, the Democrats on the committee accused the Trump administration of withholding “critical information” from Congress on the targeting. Homeland Security said last year that Russian hackers tried to probe election-related systems in 21 states. Most of the activity amounted to only preparations for hacking, such as scanning for vulnerabilities, though both Illinois and Arizona witnessed breaches of state voter registration databases. None of the systems targeted were involved in vote tallying, officials say.
The department formally notified election officials in the affected states in September about the attempts. The department did not disclose the identities of the states in order to protect their confidentiality, but some states chose to publicly identify themselves as targets.
Committee Democrats, led by ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) are now accusing Homeland Security of “defying” congressional requests for more information about Moscow’s state targeting efforts. Their letter to Gowdy cites document requests that the lawmakers say either went unanswered or received an inadequate response.