U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), a former national security specialist at the Pentagon, released the following statement after the Trump Administration released guidelines for when it would notify the public of election interference. Murphy has called for increased transparency in the event of election interference by a foreign adversary and is the author of bipartisan legislation, the ALERTS Act, that would require notification to appropriate members of Congress, relevant state and local officials, and potentially affected voters when an election system is breached and voter information may have been compromised.
“I’m pleased the Trump administration has finally recognized how important public notification is to the integrity and credibility of our elections and established a framework for when and how notification should occur. While this belated step moves us in the right direction, I will continue to push for passage of the ALERTS Act because I believe Congress should establish a clear and consistent standard for notification and not leave this decision to the sole discretion of the executive branch,” said Murphy.
In March 2019, the Mueller Report concluded that Russian military intelligence officers sent spearphishing emails to over 120 email accounts used by Florida county elections officials in the months leading up to the 2016 election. This operation enabled the Russians to gain access to the network of at least one Florida county government.
In May 2019, Murphy and Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) requested a briefing by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for the Florida congressional delegation on the nature and extent of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in Florida during the 2016 presidential election.
During that briefing, federal officials informed the Florida delegation that Russia had infiltrated two counties in the state in the run-up to the 2016 election, but federal officials did not authorize members of the delegation to disclose that information to the public. The counties’names still have not been released.