Letter: We must investigate foreign influence in U.S. elections

From: Doug Logan


I saw the story in late October about a Trump-owned server communicating with (apparently) a Russian bank. It was presented as a matter of cybersecurity watchdogs looking for malware and other threats to the election. Looking back, one can see a pattern of predictable responses. Progressive outlets — Snopes and Slate — presented the story as a legitimate concern that called for investigation. Right-wing outlets, some less savory than others — Infowars, for crying out loud in the dark — claimed to debunk the report.

I cannot say whether the original story rose to the level of this secret, foreign intelligence court, but it sure sounds like probable cause. It’s a bit disappointing that we even have this kind of hidden, “Star Chamber” sort of court, but I guess we have to acknowledge that foreign intelligence sources require protection. Of course, it is also disappointing that the new president and his supporters are using smoke and mirrors to try discrediting the charges instead of encouraging an open look.

Since the story broke before the election, we have heard denials and counter-accusations from the Trump organization. Let’s also consider a couple of other points: First, a national security adviser resigned for, if nothing else, lying about contacts with the Russian ambassador. Second, the attorney general (at best) misled the Senate with evasive answers in his confirmation hearing or (at worst) lied under oath. Recently, there have been stories about still more contacts between the campaign and Russian business or political figures.

I believe that we are all confident in the security of the election process, and all Americans accept the result. I believe, too, that an investigation of the attempt by a foreign power to influence our election is not merely right, but that it is essential.

If law enforcement agencies like the FBI can conduct the investigation without political interference, fine. If the situation calls for a congressional or special commission investigation to prevent partisan interference, then get it going. Either way, the cries of “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” need to stop.