President Donald Trump on September 12 signed a decree allowing the use of sanctions against any foreign legal and natural persons caught interfering in elections in the United States.
The measure is aimed to protect the integrity of American vote against any foreign meddling, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told reporters on Wednesday.
Bolton told reporters that the executive order is not aimed at any specific country as “threats to the integrity of the election process come from a number of sources. ”
For the introduction of sanctions, there will be enough evidence provided by special services, sources say.
According to one source, “the administration is interested in establishing new norms in cyberspace.”
“This is the first step in setting certain boundaries, an open warning about what will be our response to ‘bad behavior’,” said a White House official.
The document will list the agencies responsible for identifying the facts of interference in the pre-election process. Among them are the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Ministry of Internal Security.
Judging by the draft order, any federal agency that becomes aware of the fact of foreign interference in the elections will have to inform this information to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
The order defines intervention as an attempt to break into the “electoral infrastructure”, or an attempt to change public opinion through propaganda on the Internet or systematic “sinks” of secret political information.
The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal already reported the existence of a draft order, which the president signed. The White House deliberately did not include the US Congress in the preparation of the document, the sources say.
According to one of them, the presidential administration wants to “outstrip the House of Representatives and the Senate, which are preparing similar measures.”