Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said Thursday that Russian meddling in U.S. elections could become “normalized” if the government does not further respond to Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential contest. Shaheen doubled down on her push for an independent investigation of Russia’s actions and more sanctions on Moscow in a speech at the Center for American Progress Action Fund on Thursday afternoon. “If Russia gets a pass on 2016, it could interfere in future U.S. elections not only at the presidential level but at the House and Senate level,” Shaheen said.
The New Hampshire Democrat is part of a bipartisan group of senators who introduced legislation in January that would impose further sanctions on Russia.
The intelligence community has concluded that the Russian government orchestrated the hacking and release of emails of high-level Democratic officials to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton and had developed a preference for Donald Trump as president.
Shaheen warned Thursday that “partisan divisions” could prevent Congress from agreeing on a response to Russia’s interference. The issue has been a tricky one for Republicans, who have walked a tightrope between taking a hard line on Russia and avoiding the idea that Moscow interfered to help Trump.