WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement today after the U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for criminally interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election:
“Today’s indictment by the Department of Justice of 12 Russian spies for hacking our election is another testament to the quality and professionalism of the investigation being run by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The President and his allies must cease and desist their baseless, inflammatory attacks on an investigation that, even before today, had already produced multiple indictments and secured guilty pleas from two Trump campaign aides as well as the President’s former national security adviser.
“Just this morning in the United Kingdom, President Trump blamed the poor state of U.S.-Russia relations on ‘the rigged witch hunt,’ claiming that it ‘really hurts our country and it really hurts our relationship with Russia.’ The President is wrong. As today’s indictment makes crystal clear, tensions between our two nations exist because Russia attacked our democracy.
“That’s all the more reason why he must not meet one-on-one with Vladimir Putin, who, in the absence of U.S. experts or advisers, will undoubtedly take full advantage of an ill-prepared President. And if the Administration is unwilling to make the facts laid out in today’s indictment a top priority for that discussion, then that meeting shouldn’t happen.”