In 2018, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency that is still in effect today, via Executive Order (EO) on “Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election.”
In the executive order, The President recognized that “foreign powers have historically sought to exploit America’s free and open political system” and declared a national emergency to deal with it in future elections. Through this executive order, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), John Ratcliffe, “shall conduct an assessment of any information indicating that a foreign government, or any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government, has acted with the intent or purpose of interfering in that election.”
In summary, the DNI must produce a report to The President within 45 days of the November 3rd election that identifies which foreign powers are interfering in United States elections. It also allows severe penalties against those found to have committed the crimes and those who helped them. The report specifically mentions election infrastructure, tabulation, transmission of results, falsification or alteration of data:
- i) the extent to which any foreign interference that targeted election infrastructure materially affected the security or integrity of that infrastructure, the tabulation of votes, or the timely transmission of election results; and
(ii) if any foreign interference involved activities targeting the infrastructure of, or pertaining to, a political organization, campaign, or candidate, the extent to which such activities materially affected the security or integrity of that infrastructure, including by unauthorized access to, disclosure or threatened disclosure of, or alteration or falsification of, information or data.