Schumer Floor Remarks After Republican Blocked Legislation To Make It A Presidential Campaign’s Legal Duty To Report To The FBI When A Foreign Power Offers Assistance

June 13, 2019

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the need for legislation that makes it a presidential campaign’s legal duty to report to the FBI when a foreign power offers assistance. Below are his remarks which can also be found here.

I want to thank my friend from Virginia for offering this unanimous consent request, and express my severe, severe disappointment in our friends on the Republican side blocking it. The bottom line is very simple: when a president feels it’s more important to win an election than to conduct a fair election, we’re a step further away from democracy and towards autocracy. That’s what dictators believe: winning at all costs. That seems to be what President Trump said yesterday, and the shame of this is that our Republican colleagues can’t even bring themselves to say that when a foreign nation tries to interfere in our election, it ought to be reported to the FBIHow minimal, how minimal—and how disgraceful it is that our Republican friends cower before this president, when they know that the things he does severely damage democracy.

This one is a new low.

It’s okay for foreign powers to interfere? You don’t have to report it to law enforcement? That’s welcoming foreign powers to interfere, and as my friend from Virginia said, the President’s own FBI director said it’s going to happen again in 2020. ‘But let’s cover it up, because it might have an effect that we like,’ say our Republican friends.

Today is a new low for this Senate, for this Republican party here in the Senate, and for this democracy.

I would urge my friends when they go home over the weekend, my friends on the other side of the aisle, when they go home for the weekend, to rethink this. We will offer this unanimous consent request again. To say that it is okay to interfere, that we shouldn’t have any law enforcement, that we should have no knowledge, is to encourage Russia, China, North Korea, Iran to interfere in our elections with no recourse.

Shame. Shame! It is truly outrageous that this unanimous consent request, which should bring all of us together, is being blocked by our Republican friends.

I yield back to my colleague, and thank him for his wise, wise, unanimous consent request.