Schumer Floor Remarks On The Introduction Of A New Senate Resolution Calling for The Cessation Of Any Senate Activity That Furthers The Dissemination Of Russian Disinformation

September 16, 2020

Washington, D.C.— Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor, as Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) took new steps in an admittedly partisan probe, in support of a new Senate Resolution that calls for an end to all Senate activity that furthers Russian disinformation. Below are his remarks which can also be viewed here:

The chairman of Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee continues to further his probe into the family of the former Vice President and plans to release a report next week that appears designed to influence the upcoming presidential election.

While the rest of the country has been focused on fighting a global pandemic, for the last few months the chairman and Republicans of the committee have wasted taxpayer resources to run a hit job on President Trump’s political rival. Even worse, it seems that several lines of “investigation” have echoed materials pushed by the Kremlin.

In fact, some of the allegations that the Homeland Security Chairman pursues are the same ones propagated by Andriy Derkach, a known Russian agent who was recently sanctioned by President Trump’s own Treasury Department for interfering in our elections. So here, President Trump’s Treasury Department sanctions Derkach, and the Chairman of the Committee repeats the same kind of allegations that Derkach has, the discredited allegations that Derkach propagates. It’s outrageous. It’s a disgrace.

The hearings and subpoenas that have come out of the Homeland Security Committee are also a disgrace—by any standard. The more we learn about Russian agents like Mr. Derkach, the more it looks like the Kremlin is trying to launder anti-American information through the United States Senate. And because Moscow prefers to support Donald Trump, as it did in the last election, it seems that some of this disinformation finds a sympathetic audience among Republican Senators.

So today, alongside Sen. Wyden, Peters, Reed, and Feinstein, I will introducing a resolution calling for a cessation of any Senate investigation or activity that allows Congress to act as a conduit for Russian information. There should not be a single aspect of this chamber that—wittingly or unwittingly—furthers the propaganda machine of Vladimir Putin’s intelligence services.

I’ll have more to say on this matter later. But for one of our most important committees to be echoing a Kremlin-backed conspiracy theory is beyond the pale.  As we are about to hold a national election, it must stop, immediately.