The presidential election brought about much speculation. Mostly by Democrat’s because they lost. Speculation over what evidence James Comey of the FBI has on Hillary Clinton. Speculation over whether Russia hacked the electoral college in an attempt to help President-Elect Donald Trump win the election. Speculation over whether their was voter fraud which eventually led to an ill advised recount. Now part of that speculation is over. President Obama was one of the first politicians to hop on the bandwagon of chastising Russia for their alleged election fraud.
He announced his intent to punish Russia should the evidence prove they interfered. Now he has brought down yet another executive order. This time against our red frenemy. In his executive order he labelled Russia’s interference a “cyber-enabled activity.” Stating such activities undermine the democratic process. Here are excerpts from the order.
“I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, in order to take additional steps to deal with the national emergency with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities declared in Executive Order 13694 of April 1, 2015, and in view of the increasing use of such activities to undermine democratic processes or institutions, hereby order:
Section 1. Section 1(a) of Executive Order 13694 is hereby amended to read as follows: “Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in..”
The President also released a statement that put into layman terms what he had ordered. In short, here ordered several actions be taken in response to,
“aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election. These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior. All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions.
In October, my Administration publicized our assessment that Russia took actions intended to interfere with the U.S. election process. These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government. Moreover, our diplomats have experienced an unacceptable level of harassment in Moscow by Russian security services and police over the last year. Such activities have consequences. Today, I have ordered a number of actions in response.”
His order provides more authority to federal agencies to respond to similar cyber attacks and activity. All of which the President deemed undermine our election process and institutions. As a result of Russia’s actions he has sanctioned nine separate entities and people. Those include the GRU, the FSB, to intelligence services from Russia, four private officers from the CRU, and three corporations that gave supportive information to CRU’s operations.
The outgoing President has now directed the State Department to shut down and cease operations on two Russian compounds in the United States. One in Maryland and one in New York. These compounds are used for intelligence purposes. As well, thirty five Russian intelligence operatives have been labelled persona non grata.
These are not the only actions the administration is taking against Russia. Other actions he insisted will be classified and un-publicized for security purposes. As a final swat to the face the President insisted he will be providing a report to Congress detailing all of Russia’s attempts to interfere with the election. Most of which is malicious cyber activity.
John McCain as well as other prominent Republican’s are working together with Democrat’s to hold Russia accountable.