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July 1, 2020

Edward M. Kennedy Institute and fellow congressional centers sign letter to Senate intelligence committee encouraging bipartisanship and protection of the electoral process

Coalition of organizations focused on government, democracy, and civic engagement implore senatorial panel to emphasize transparency in their work

BOSTON – On Tuesday, June 30, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate joined ten other bipartisan public institutions to deliver a signed letter to the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The letter unequivocally requests that any conclusive reports or other information pertaining to potential foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election be made publicly available in a timely manner.

The correspondence, addressed to Acting Chair Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Vice Chair Mark Warner, concerns a key aspect of the bipartisan and unanimous four-volume SSCI conclusion released last year in the acknowledgement of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign cycle. In it, several recommendations were outlined. Among them is a statement that reads, “should foreign influence be detected, the public should be informed as soon as possible, with a clear and succinct statement of the threat, even if the information is incomplete. Delaying the release of information allows inaccurate narratives to spread, which makes the task of informing the public significantly harder. Mechanisms for issuing public warnings related to threats to elections should be put in place to allow for any warning to be made in a timely and non-partisan manner.” (Volume 3, page 45)

“At the core of the Kennedy Institute’s continued efforts across the country is bipartisanship and civic involvement from the local level to, as in this case, the national stage,” said Sue Heilman, interim executive director of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute. “With the next presidential election in the near future, it could not be a more appropriate occasion for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to continue their history of working across the aisle for the betterment of society.”

Additionally, the bipartisan group of congressional centers praise the Committee’s “unanimously adopted reports, which are well-documented, and fact-based, address a matter of fundamental importance to the continuation of a healthy and viable democracy in the United States: the possible corruption of our electoral system by foreign entities.” The intention of the formal letter to Senate Intelligence leaders is to accelerate disclosing any additional information about their reports on this issue that should be readily accessible to the general public at large.

The letter is available here. A list of all participating organizations is as follows.

Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement
Howard H. Baker Jr. Center
John Brademas Center
John C. Culver Public Policy Center
Levin Center at Wayne Law
Lugar Center
Marquette University Les Aspin Center for Government
McCain Institute
Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

About the Edward M. Kennedy Institute
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