Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Questions Witnesses About Russian Election Interference

June 20, 2019
Press Release
Elicits testimony that President Trump’s willingness to accept foreign opposition research, and acting on it, would violate the law

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, today questioned election law and Russian intelligence experts about conclusions drawn by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his review of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. See his questioning of witnesses here

Congressman Cohen also questioned witness Carrie Cordero, senior fellow and general counsel of the Center for a New American Society about possible articles of impeachment. She testified that the second volume of the Mueller Report outlines up to six instances of obstructions of justice that validate the need for an impeachment inquiry.  

In his questioning, Congressman Cohen had the following exchanges with Professor Richard Hasan of the University of California-Irvine School of Law and with Alina Polyakova, director of the Project on Global Democracy and Emerging Technology and a foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution: 

Cohen: “Mr. Hasan, you said the Mueller Report cited that taking opposition research from a foreign nation would be illegal; is that correct?” 

Hasan: (Citing pages 184-186 of the report) “Opposition research counts as a thing of value and, from that, the report concludes that accepting it could be considered illegal…” 

Cohen: “And if we had an impeachment inquiry, the Congress could certainly take that into consideration; is that not true?” 

Hasan: “Yes.” 

Cohen: “Doctor Polyakova…The Russian military was definitely involved in this, right?” 

Polyakova: “Yes.” 

Cohen: “Would that have had to come from Putin?...” 

Polyakova: “We know from the report that it was a Russian military intelligence arm that was involved…We don’t know, because of various redactions, if Mr. Putin gave that order or not but very likely he was very well aware of what was happening.” 

Also testifying at today’s hearing was Professor Saikrishna Prakash of the University of Virginia School of Law.