Sen. Chris Coons released a statement July 13 after the Department of Justice announced that 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking several American political organizations have been indicted as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

“On Monday in Helsinki, President Trump should demand that President Putin order Russian security forces to stop their cyberattacks on our democracy. He should be clear with President Putin that overwhelming evidence proves Russia hacked the DNC and state elections databases in order to interfere in our 2016 presidential election. He should not believe Putin if he tells him otherwise,” said Coons.

“I’m also deeply concerned that Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein said President Trump has been aware of these impending indictments for several days, but has nonetheless persisted in calling the Mueller investigation a ‘witch hunt’ and shrugging off Vladimir Putin’s lies about Russia’s cyberattacks against our democracy. That is nothing short of an abject failure of leadership and an abandonment of our president’s solemn commitment to provide for our national defense,” said Coons.

“Today’s indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers makes it clearer than ever that Special Counsel Mueller's investigation is critical to our national security and the rule of law. The senate should pass my Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act in order to protect this investigation. In April, this bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan 14-7 vote, with the support of Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein. A floor vote is long overdue. We must step up and act,” said Coons.