Call for a Congressional Investigation: An Open Letter from Concerned Scholars
Dear Senators and Representatives,

We, the undersigned scholars who conduct research on cyber-security, national defense, authoritarian regimes, and free and fair elections, are deeply troubled by reports of hacking by foreign powers apparently intent on influencing our November 2016 elections. Reports are serious enough that former senior national security aide Michael Allen, as well as Senators Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham, have raised concerns that Russia in particular may have been involved.

We represent a wide range of viewpoints on most issues, but on one point we agree: our polarized political climate must not prevent our elected representatives from doing what is right. In this case, what is right is simple: our country needs a thorough, public Congressional investigation into the role that foreign powers played in the months leading up to November. As representatives of the American people, Congress is best positioned to conduct an objective investigation.

We emphasize that nothing in our collective call for an investigation is meant to question the outcome of the November election. We simply know that turning a blind eye to such involvement would send a global green light to hackers and others intent on undermining our democratic institutions.

Nor do we prejudge the outcome of an investigation. As scholars, we give priority to evidence. The evidence made available in an investigation might show that foreign powers have played an important role, and it might show that such a role was negligible. At this juncture, we can only say that existing reports are plausible enough and publicly expressed concerns are significant enough to warrant Congress’s full attention and swift action.

With concerns rising on both sides of the political aisle about myriad practices that challenge free and fair elections, a public investigation promises to provide the transparency needed to calm Americans’ fears and restore faith in our political process. As voting American citizens, we know that nothing could be more important for our country.


Abu El-Haj, Tabatha (Kline School of Law, Drexel University)
Adams, Laura (Institute for International Education, National Endowment for Democracy)
Ahlquist, John (University of California, San Diego)
Alexander, Shawn (University of Kansas)
Alexseev, Mikhail (San Diego State University)
Alter, Karen J. (Northwestern University)
Andreas, Peter (Brown University)
Ashworth, Scott (University of Chicago)
Avant, Deborah (Josef Korbel School, University of Denver)
Beissinger, Mark (Princeton University)
Bernhard, Michael (University of Florida)
Beyer, Jessica (University of Washington)
Bondarenko, Eugene (University of Michigan)
Bonneau, Joseph (Stanford University)
Boylan, Jennifer (University of Florida)
Breslauer, George (University of California, Berkeley)
Brockington, David (University of Plymouth)
Brock, Jeffrey (Brown University)
Brooking, Emerson (Council on Foreign Relations)
Brown, Christopher M. (Georgia Southern University)
Bueno de Mesquita, Ethan (University of Chicago)
Bunce, Valerie (Cornell University)
Carron, Patti (Washington University)
Chalupa, Leo M. (George Washington University)
Chenoweth, Erica (University of Denver)
Clunan, Anne (Naval Postgraduate School)
Condit, Deirdre (Virginia Commonwealth University)
Connelly, John (University of California, Berkeley)
Crossley, Pamela Kyle (Dartmouth College)
Darden, Keith (American University)
De St. Paer, Katherine (University of California, Irvine)
Diamond, Larry (Stanford University)
Diaz-Cayeros, Alberto (Stanford University)
Duvanova, Dinissa (Lehigh University)
Eppinger, Monica (Saint Louis University)
Farah, Jan (Rutgers University)
Fidelis, Malgorzata (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Friedman, Rebecca (Florida International University)
Finnin, Rory (Cambridge University)
Fish, Steven (University of California, Berkeley)
Fredrikson, Matt (Carnegie Mellon University)
Froitzheim, John (Virginia Commonwealth University)
Frye, Timothy (Columbia University)
Gehlbach, Scott (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
George, Julie (CUNY)
Gerber, Theodore (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Goldberg, Robert A. (University of Utah)
Goldman, Eric (Santa Clara University School of Law)
Gorenberg, Dmitry (Harvard University)
Graney, Kate (Skidmore College)
Greene, Samuel (King's College London)
Greenspan, Elizabeth (University of Pennsylvania)
Grossman, Guy (University of Pennsylvania)
Grzymala-Busse, Anna (Stanford University)
Gusterson, Hugh (George Washington University)
Guyster, William M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Hands, Nicole (Purdue University)
Hatcher, Laura (Southeast Missouri State University)
Henry, Laura (Bowdoin College)
Herman, Rebecca (University of California, Berkeley)
Herrera, Yoshiko M. (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Hoffmann, Matthew (University of Toronto)
Holiman, Alan (William Jewell College)
Holmgren, Beth (Duke University)
Holmgren, Justin (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Hirsch, Herbert (Virginia Commonwealth University)
Ilnytzkyj, Oleh (University of Alberta)
Isaac, Jeffrey (Indiana University)
Jimenez-Bacardi, Arturo (University of South Florida, St. Petersburg)
Judge-Lord, Devin (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Kelertas, Violeta (University of Washington)
Kempner, Joanna (Rutgers University)
Kinsella, Helen M. (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Kirkley, Gina (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Kopstein, Jeffrey (University of California, Irvine)
Kravets, Nadiya (Harvard University)
Labonte, Melissa (Fordham University)
Ladokhin, Alexey (University of Kansas)
LeBas, Adrienne (American University)
Leverett, Eireann (Cambridge University)
Levi, Margaret (Stanford University)
Levinson, Chad (University of Chicago)
Levitas, Anthony (Brown University)
Levitsky, Steven (Harvard University)
Lewis, David Levering (New York University)
Lilley, Michael (Dedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University)
Livezeanu, Irina (University of Pittsburgh)
Lobasz, Jennifer K. (University of Delaware)
Lynch, Julia (University of Pennsylvania)
Macfarlane, Allison (George Washington University)
Marcolli, Matilde (Caltech)
Markowitz, Lawrence (Rowan University)
McFaul, Michael (Stanford University)
McGlothin, Dennis (Seattle University)
McLean, Eden (Auburn University)
Meserve, Joy (University of California, San Diego)
Meyers, Tom (Miami University (Oxford))
Minch, Michael (Utah Valley University)
Monk, Daniel Bertrand (Colgate University)
Monroe, Chris (Cornell University)
Murray, Shoon (American University)
Newmann, William W. (Virginia Commonwealth University)
Novy, Marianne (University of Pittsburgh)
Omelicheva, Mariya Y. (University of Kansas)
Orttung, Robert (George Washington University)
Pearce, Katy (University of Washington)
Pepinsky, Thomas (Cornell University)
Perrin, Andrew J. (University of North Carolina)
Peterson, Maya (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Pylypiuk, Natalia (University of Alberta)
Reger, William (Illinois State University)
Richter, James (Bates College)
Roberts, Kenneth (Cornell University)
Rodine-Hardy, Kirsten (Northeastern University)
Rohen, Jennifer (St. Louis University)
Saivetz, Carol (MIT)
Schaffer, Frederic (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Schatz, Edward (University of Toronto)
Schmemann, Alex (George Washington University)
Schoenman, Roger (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Scully, Pamela (Emory University)
Shapiro, Jacob (Princeton University)
Sharpes, Donald (Arizona State University)
Shevel, Oxana (Tufts University)
Shore, Marci (Yale University)
Shurb, Jason (Texas A&M University)
Sievers, Sara (Notre Dame University)
Singh, J.P. (University of Edinburgh and George Mason University)
Slater, Dan (University of Chicago)
Smith, Benjamin (University of Florida)
Snyder, Timothy (Yale University)
Sokhey, Sarah Wilson (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Solonari, Vladimir (University of Central Florida)
Speckmann, Nancy (San Diego State University)
Specter, Michael (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Sperling, Valerie (Clark University)
Staniland, Paul (University of Chicago)
Suri, Jeremi (University of Texas at Austin)
Svolik, Milan (Yale University)
Tan, Amy (New York University)
Tillman, Erik (DePaul University)
Triesman, Daniel (University of California, Los Angeles)
Truex, Rory (Princeton University)
Twigg, Judy (Virginia Commonwealth University)
Van Horn, David (University of Maryland)
Valencia, Louie Dean (Harvard University)
Vlasic, Mark (Georgetown Law)
Way, Lucan (University of Toronto)
Wedeen, Lisa (University of Chicago)
Weeks, Jessica (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Weiss, Meredith (University at Albany, SUNY)
Welch, David (University of Waterloo)
Weldon, Laurel (Purdue University)
Werner, Cynthia (Texas A&M University)
White, Bebo (Stanford University)
Wishnick, Elizabeth (Montclair State University)
Wong, Wendy (University of Toronto)
Yang, Jean (Carnegie Mellon University)

(158 signatures, current as of Sunday, November 27th, 7:00PM)

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