DOJ/DHS Chiefs Conclude No 2018 Midterm Breach

News  |  Feb 6, 2019

The Justice Department says Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen have submitted a classified report to President Trump telling him foreign interference efforts had no significant impact on election infrastructure during the 2018 midterms. 

From the press release

Although the specific conclusions within the joint report must remain classified, the Departments have concluded there is no evidence to date that any identified activities of a foreign government or foreign agent had a material impact on the integrity or security of election infrastructure or political/campaign infrastructure used in the 2018 midterm elections for the United States Congress. 


While the report remains classified, its findings will help drive future efforts to protect election and political/campaign infrastructure from foreign interference. 


The finding comes nearly three months after the November midterm elections, where Democrats won majority control of the House and Republicans strengthened their hold in the Senate.

That cycle was dogged by reports of attempts by Russian trolls to wage online influence campaigns on the eve of Election Day.

For instance, the DOJ charged Russian national Elena Khusyaynova in October with participating in a conspiracy of "information warfare" against the U.S. by trying to "create and amplify divisive social media and political content."

But the agency's criminal complaint noted that it "does not include any allegation that Khusyaynova or the broader conspiracy had any effect on the outcome of an election."

After Election Day, Facebook revealed in a blog post that it had blocked dozens of accounts on Facebook and Instagram that were allegedly linked to Russian trolls.


Whitaker and Nielsen's report is likely to please Trump, who has long disputed that Russia's meddling in 2016 had any impact on his victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump administration finds 'no material impact' from foreign interference in 2018 midterm elections (CNBC)

Acting Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security Submit Joint Report on Impact of Foreign Interference on Election and Political/Campaign Infrastructure in 2018 Elections (press release)