Democrats Demand Jeff Sessions Explain What He’s Doing to Stop Russian Interference

In a letter, House members warn the attorney general that “inaction here would be unacceptable.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at a news conference at the U.S. Justice Department in Washington D.C., United States, on Nov. 29, 2017.Ting Shen/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are giving Attorney General Jeff Sessions another chance to explain what the Justice Department is doing to protect against Russian interference in elections.

In a Friday letter, 16 Democrats on the panel asked Sessions to brief them by December 14 on vulnerabilities in federal election systems and steps to reduce them, including potential updates to laws, in the wake of the intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia attempted to undermine the 2016 election and help elect President Donald Trump.

The committee members cited a November 15 hearing during which Sessions admitted his department had not done enough to prepare for anticipated Russian meddling in the 2018 midterm elections. In response to a question from Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Mich.), Sessions said he had not acted on a pledge he made at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in October to conduct a review of the issue. “I have not followed through to see where we are on that,” Sessions told Schneider. “I will personally take action to do so.”

“Inaction here would be unacceptable,” the Democrats write. “You have a responsibility to do everything in your power to ensure that our elections are free, fair and void of foreign influence.”


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn’t fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation so we can keep on doing the type of journalism that 2018 demands.