Democratic leaders are asking the FBI for an urgent briefing arising out of concern that members of Congress are being targeted by a foreign operation intended to influence the 2020 presidential election, according to a letter they released publicly on Monday.
Among the Democrats’ concerns is that a Senate investigation being led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has become a vehicle for “laundering” a foreign operation to damage Joe Biden, according to two people familiar with the demand.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded the all-Congress briefing Monday, citing “specific” intelligence that a foreign influence operation targeted lawmakers to “launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity.”
Though the letter did not mention the Johnson investigation, it included a classified addendum that the two sources say identified the probe as one of the sources of their concern.
“We are gravely concerned, in particular, that Congress appears to be the target of a concerted foreign interference campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote in their letter, which was also signed by the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).