The official title of congressional bill H.R. 6533 reads “To expose and deter unlawful and subversive foreign interference in elections for Federal office”. The bill, if passed, would require the U.S. Secretary of State to:
- submit a report to Congress and the publicly-accessible Federal Registry within 60 days of a national election, indicating the names and affiliations of foreigners (and the domestic agents acting on behalf of foreigners) who have violated already existing federal election law to “access, disrupt, influence, or in any way alter information or information systems related to United States political parties, candidates in elections for Federal office, or the administration of elections for Federal office”;
- Make the release of these names public unless a compelling national security interest exists, in which case the report must indicate that compelling national security interest;
- Freeze the U.S.-held assets of illegal foreign election subversives; and
- Revoke the visas of illegal foreign election subversives.
H.R. 6533 creates no new crime. It only requires the executive branch to reveal the names of, and revoke the visitation and commerce privileges of, those people outside the United States known by the executive branch to have broken U.S. law to meddle in American national elections.
Curiously, not one of the cosponsors of H.R. 6533 is a Republican.
This utter lack of support by Republicans for a report on illegal foreign subversion of American elections comes after a year and a half in which Republican candidates for national, state and local office insisted on a daily basis that the United States of America was under threat from foreign subversives.
Why the sudden, utter and complete switch? What’s going on? Do Congressional Republicans suddenly hate American election integrity? Or is there simply a stronger desire to prevent the release of names of foreigners involved in lawbreaking to subvert American elections?
What are those names? And whose names would appear on the list of Americans known to have acted on behalf of foreign election subversives?
The Republicans don’t want you to know.