Institute Joins Statement to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

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The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute joined ten other congressional centers Tuesday in a letter to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that urges the Committee to inform the public “as soon as possible” if foreign influence is detected in the 2020 election.  

The letter was spearheaded by the Levin Center in Michigan and was signed by leaders from The Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center, The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center, the John Brandemas Center of New York University,  the John C. Culver Public Policy Center at Simpson College, The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, the Levin Center at Wayne State University Law School, The Lugar Center, The McCain Institute,  Marquette University Les Aspin Center for Government, The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement, and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

“We represent eleven centers of former Members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, located in different states around the country,” the letter begins. “Our missions vary slightly, but we all hold in common the desire to extend the legacy of our former Members by promoting the importance of Congress as a co-equal branch of government and to advance the goals of a functioning and transparent democracy that inspires the confidence of our citizens.”

The letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee argues that “a matter of fundamental importance to the continuation of a healthy and viable democracy in the United States” is “the possible corruption of our electoral system by foreign entities. Such corruption can occur through disruptive fake social media, through hacking of campaign and candidate accounts, and through manipulation of voter registration and ballot records.”

The letter urges the Senate Intelligence Committee to “take it upon yourselves to make unclassified information involving foreign interference in, or a threat to, the 2020 election known to government officials at all levels, relevant private sector partners, and the public as soon as possible and to seek the declassification of additional information that you believe should be available to the public.”

John T. Shaw, Institute director, said he is pleased to work with other congressional centers on such a critical issue.

“The Institute is delighted to sign an important letter and to advocate for an essential cause: free and fair elections in the United States this fall,” Shaw said.

Read the full letter to U.S Senate Select Committee on Intelligence