There have been leaks about classified information that concerns Russian interference  in the 2020 presidential election, and Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson has sent a letter to Adam Schiff on what he is doing to stop this from happening.

Schiff is the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Johnson says classified information is being leaked from meetings.

Johnson says in the latest leak was made apparent after a February article run by the New York Times about classified information.

Louisiana Congressman Johnson had this to say about this situation,

The candidate-specific subject matter reported by the New York Times, coupled with additional reports that same day of Russian influence favoring Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, is enough to raise serious concerns surrounding to the possibility of selective leaking of information by your committee or an adjacent source.

Mike Johnson is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and the article from February 21 referenced the latest briefing on Russia.

Johnson says this is not the first time there have been leaks. He references in his letter about leaks from about the Benghazi situation, and Johnson says that Schiff was worried at that time that it would hurt Hillary Clinton's presidential bid.

Johnson adds,

As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, the principal committee in Congress tasked with oversight of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I believe it is essential that the Congress take seriously the protection of classified information to avoid any and all unauthorized leaks to the media.

About Schiff, Johnson adds,

...in 2015, you raised alarm when the House Select Committee on Benghazi was apparently leaking information that was perceived to harm former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In an appearance at that time on Meet the Press, you stated:' The way this committee has operated is by leak of damaging information with only one objective. And this is, all the leaks have a common denominator. All of the leaks are designed to hurt Secretary Clinton.'

Below, in bold, is a copy of Johnson's letter to Schiff:

February 27, 2020

The Hon. Adam B. Schiff

Chairman

Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

HVC-304, The Capitol

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Mr. Chairman:

 

I am writing to you today to express concern over reports that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) has leaked classified information pertaining to the integrity of our federal elections.

 

On February 20, The New York Times reported that HPSCI received a classified briefing on Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election. As you know, both the occasion and the content of these meetings are highly sensitive and are thus designed to remain secret. This protocol is important to safeguard classified information, and to prevent alerting foreign adversaries about the focus of our own defensive priorities to counter foreign election influence.

 

The candidate-specific subject matter reported by The New York Times,[1] coupled with additional reports the next day of Russian influence favoring Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary,[2] are enough to raise serious concerns surrounding the possibility of selective leaking of information by your committee or an adjacent source.

 

As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, the principal committee in Congress tasked with oversight of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), I believe it is essential that the Congress take seriously the protection of classified information to avoid any and all unauthorized leaks to the media.

 

Based upon the newspaper reports last week, can you please answer the following questions:

 

1.       What steps, if any, have you or your staff taken to investigate the sources of the leaks pertaining g to the classified briefing on Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election?

2.       Has a plan been formulated to more closely protect classified or sensitive information shared with your committee, particularly information related to the 2020 election cycle?

3.       Has your committee pursued an investigation of these leaks in conjunction with entities such as the DOJ or FBI, which are typically called upon when classified information of this kind makes it into the public domain?

 

I believe these questions and my concerns are appropriate and are in fact consistent with your own public statements in recent years. For example, in 2015, you raised alarm when the House Select Committee on Benghazi was apparently leaking information that was perceived to harm former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In an appearance at that time on Meet the Pressyou stated: “The way this committee has operated is by leak of damaging information with only one objective. And that is, all the leaks have a common denominator. All of the leaks are designed to hurt Secretary Clinton.”[3]

 

Congress has an obligation to address these issues directly to ensure that all classified information is handled and protected appropriately, and that the integrity of our elections and institutions are maintained.

 

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your response.

 

 

Sincerely,

____________________

Mike Johnson

Member of Congress

 

 

 

CC: The Hon. Devin Nunes, Ranking Member, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence