Update: The push to delegitimize the election results continued after a trio of top Senate Democrats called for a nonpartisan commission to investigate allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Sens. Ben Cardin (Md.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.), the top Democrats on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence and Judiciary committees, back the creation an independent commission with 18 months to report its findings The Hill reports.
"The American people deserve a nonpartisan, transparent, public investigation into this insidious attack on our democratic institutions,” Cardin said. “As a nation it’s time to get to the bottom of it and learn what we can do to prevent it from ever happening again.”
The commission would be tasked with investigating allegations of Russian cyber attacks, trying to identify those responsible and recommending responses and future measures to prevent interference in U.S. elections.
Feinstein added that the commission would determine if Russian hacks tried to undercut Hillary Clinton, the Democrat presidential nominee, or "undermine our democratic system."
"This bipartisan commission will help identify the specific ‘actors’ responsible and recommend a possible course of action to prevent this from ever happening again," she said.
The panel, according to the Democratic senators, would have access to both classified and unclassified information, as well as the ability to subpoena officials about Russian activities tied to the presidential race.
Leahy, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, added on Monday lawmakers must "rise above the fray and engage in a serious, independent, and bipartisan investigation."
"This is larger than any one candidate or any one election," he said. "This is about protecting our democracy now, and going forward.”
Of course, none of these calls would have been made had Trump lost the election, and in fact he would have been crucified by the press for daring to question the outcome of the vote.
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And there it is.
Just as we first laid out on Saturday following Friday night's shock "report" that the CIA had concluded Russia had intervened in the presidential election on behalf of Trump, which we quickly assessed had all the marks of a "soft coup" attempt, and which culminated most recently with a report that up to 10 electors had requested a briefing on "Russian Interference" before the presidential vote, moments ago none other than the Clinton campaign, by way of its top political adviser John Podesta, said the campaign is supporting an effort by members of the Electoral College to request an intelligence briefing on foreign intervention in the presidential election, Politico reported.
In his statement released on Monday, Podesta said “The bipartisan electors' letter raises very grave issues involving our national security,” and added that “electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed.”
“Each day that month, our campaign decried the interference of Russia in our campaign and its evident goal of hurting our campaign to aid Donald Trump. Despite our protestations, this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in the campaign. We now know that the CIA has determined Russia's interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American.”
Podesta's statement is the first public statement from the Clinton campaign raising questions about the legitimacy of Donald Trump's victory.
It follows the previously reported open letter from 10 presidential electors, including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Christine, requesting an intelligence briefing ahead of the Dec. 19 vote of the Electoral College.
Why this push is curious, is because during today's briefing Press Secretary Josh Earnest explicitly stated that "US intel agencies didn't detect any malicious cyberactivity "that interfered w the casting and counting of ballots" on Nov. 8", a narrative at odds with that concocted by the WaPo, in its interpretation of what the CIA allegedly concluded in its "secret" assessment, which thenbegs the question: who is lying?
Shortly after Podesta's statement, the Democratic National Committee disseminated a Politico story that revealed the electors' call for a briefing. Two Democratic members of Congress have also suggested the Electoral College should take an active role in reassessing, or stopping, a Trump presidency.
It was unclear which particular agency would provide the briefing, if it was permitted, especially in light of reports that there has been a shcism between the CIA and FBI in their interpretation of whether Russia had indeed intervened directly to push for a Trump election.
While so far no proof has been provided by the CIA substantiating its claim, we doubt one will be forthcoming. After all as the WaPo itself reported some time ago, citing an official, "the intelligence community is not saying it has ‘definitive proof’ of such tampering, or any Russian plans to do so." In other words, there is merely "extrapolation" based on a personal biases to reach a desired, goalseeked outcome, without any factual validation whatsoever.
However, it is likely that should the Clinton Campaign's request for a "breifing" be granted, that it would lead to a dramatic split among the already polarized US nation. As to whether the Electoral College would ultimately vote against Trump, we leave it up to readers to consider the possible, and very damaging for the US, consequences.