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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Top Democrats in the House and Senate have written a letter requesting that the FBI provide Congress with a defensive counterintelligence briefing regarding what appears to be a "concerted foreign interference campaign" targeting Congress.

Why it matters: U.S. intelligence officials have warned that Russia, China and other foreign adversaries are actively seeking to interfere in the 2020 elections. The Kremlin engaged in misinformation and hacking campaigns in 2016 in an effort to tilt the election to President Trump.

  • The specifics of how Congress is being targeted were not immediately clear, but the Democrats said the alleged campaign seeks to "launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November."
  • The July 13 letter, which was released on Monday, was signed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.).

Between the lines: "To ensure a clear and unambiguous record of the counterintelligence threats of concern, the four enclosed with the letter a classified addendum that draws, in large part, from the Executive Branch’s own reporting and analysis," a congressional official told Axios.

  • "The counterintelligence experts at the FBI must provide the full Congress with a defensive counterintelligence briefing on these threats before the August recess."

Read the letter via DocumentCloud.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favor."

Of note: As Republicans applauded the action, Democratic leaders warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a conservative so close to the election, as progressives led calls to expand the court.

Lawmakers call for Israel-Hamas ceasefire amid aerial bombardments

Combination images of Republican Sen. Todd Young and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy. Photo: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images/Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and 28 Senate Democrats on Sunday called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as fighting continued into the night.

Driving the news: In the first bipartisan call for a ceasefire, Young, a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, joined its Chair Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) a statement saying: "Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas' rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing.

Bill Gates faces scrutiny over relationship with Microsoft employee, Epstein ties

Photo: Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Representatives for Bill Gates pushed back on claims Sunday that he left Microsoft's board because of an earlier sexual relationship and against two other reports detailing more extensive ties with Jeffrey Epstein than had previously been reported.

Driving the news: Microsoft said in an emailed statement to Axios that it "received a concern" in 2019 that its co-founder "sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000," but denied a Wall Street Journal report that its board members thought Gates should resign over the matter.

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