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Richard J. Durbin

09/30/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/30/2020 16:35

Durbin Slams Republicans For Ignoring Russian Threat In 2020 Election, Questions Comey On President's Vulnerability In Light Of Personal Debts

09.30.20

WASHINGTON - During today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled 'Oversight of the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation: Day 3,' which featured former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) warned about ongoing Russian attempts to interfere in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, and slammed Republicans on the Committee for ignoring the threat by re-litigating the 2016 investigation into Russian election interference.

'I can't think of anything more insidious than Vladimir Putin trying to affect the outcome of the American election and overruling the verdict of democracy by the American people. It is a grave issue. It is an important issue. There's one problem: Today we're focusing on the wrong election. Today, we're focusing on the election of 2016 instead of the election of 2020, the one that is merely five weeks away,' Durbin said.

On September 17, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified that Russia is 'very active' in seeking to influence the 2020 election and is conducting 'malign foreign influence in an effort to hurt Biden's campaign.'

During today's hearing, Durbin also questioned Comey on whether personal debt is a red flag for those seeking a security clearance in the United States, and highlighted the New York Times reports that President Trump owes at least $421 million in personal debt that is due in the coming years.

'So as a general matter, are there serious risks when someone with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, personal debt, has access as the President does, to all of the country's classified and sensitive information?' Durbin asked.

Comey answered that, without knowing the particulars of the President's case, that, 'It's a serious concern when anyone seeking or with a clearance has that kind of financial vulnerability.'

Video of Durbin's questions in Committee is available here.

Audio of Durbin's questions in Committee is available here.

Footage of Durbin's questions in Committee is available here for TV Stations.

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