Sherrill Statements On Impeachment, Russian Election Interference

By on July 27, 2019

Rep. Mikie Sherrill at her May town hall in BloomfieldRep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ11), who represents Verona in Congress, issued statements yesterday on both the prospect of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump and what needs to be done to secure America’s election system against foreign interference.

The statement on impeachment was posted to her Facebook page:

Many of you have asked me what my views are on impeachment. I have often started by responding that it was critically important to hear directly from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. As a former federal prosecutor, I never moved forward on charging decisions without speaking to our agents.

The hearings confirmed that there are serious questions related to the conduct of the president, members of his administration and campaign, and agents of the Russian government. That’s why Congress must continue to exercise its oversight duties, execute subpoenas to hear from witnesses, and enact legislation to counter Russian interference in our election system. And Congress is continuing to conduct a thorough investigation into this administration and Russian interference into our 2016 election.

The House Judiciary Committee is actively involved in multiple filings seeking information ranging from Russian interference in the election to redactions in the Mueller Report. Six committees in the House of Representatives are conducting their own unique investigations into various matters that pertain to their jurisdiction. In all, there are at least 29 pending legal proceedings and investigations related to the President across the country, including the most recent filings submitted by the Judiciary Committee today.

If the House Judiciary Committee expresses that they are unable to adequately conduct oversight and investigations, I will take that into consideration and consider further action.

I also remain concerned about the grave threat Russia poses to our democracy. I continue to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle on Task Force Sentry to further ensure that we protect our democracy and our election system. The House of Representatives has passed legislation to protect our elections and the Senate must follow suit.

I remain committed to building a strong future for the people of New Jersey and will continue to work with my colleagues to safeguard our election system and uphold the integrity of our democratic institutions, laws, and values.

On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a bipartisan report that concluded that Russia had targeted election systems in all 50 states in 2016. It found that the Russian interference was far more widespread than had been previously acknowledged, but the heavily redacted report does not directly describe the interference in New Jersey.

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“Our democracy is vulnerable to foreign interference, and we need to act,” Sherrill said in a separate statement. “As chairwoman of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee on House Science, Space, and Technology and a founding member of Task Force Sentry, I have worked to bring this issue to the forefront of our national discussion. My colleagues and I in the House have fought to pass legislation to arm our states with the resources they need to safeguard our democracy and the 2020 elections. The Senate’s inaction — especially in light of this report — is a failure of leadership.”

Last month, Rep. Sherrill and six other freshmen members, including a Republican congressman from Ohio, announced they had formed Task Force Sentry, a bipartisan working group that had been meeting behind closed doors over the last several months to develop legislation to prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections.

“We set up Task Force Sentry because there is a clear need for leadership on this issue,” Rep. Sherrill said. “We are readying additional legislation to protect the 2020 elections and to provide national security leadership to protect our democracy from foreign influence.”

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Sherrill indicated that, through briefings and meetings with issue experts, members of Task Force Sentry have identified vulnerabilities in the U.S. political system, and have targeted five actions to fix them:

  1. Deterring the originator — making it more difficult for foreign entities to influence Americans;
  2. Requiring enhanced disclosure — mandating that individuals or entities receiving foreign funds disclose where those funds come from;
  3. Preventing foreign financing from supporting campaigns;
  4. Defining the roles and responsibilities of social media companies to prevent foreign government entities from using their platforms to interfere in U.S. political processes;
  5. Establishing ongoing monitoring, analysis and enforcement mechanisms to identify threats and tools to prevent foreign interference through information operations.

Sherrill’s statement did not indicate when the task force would be submitting its bill for consideration. Thursday was the last day of work in the House of Representatives before its annual August recess. The House will be back in session on Monday, September 9.

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