Warner introduces bill on reporting foreign election contacts

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WASHINGTON (CBS19 NEWS) -- A new bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate that would require political campaigns to report attempts to influence elections by foreign powers.

Senator Mark Warner introduced the Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections Act, or FIRE, on Tuesday.

Under the bill, campaigns would be required to report such attempts to the appropriate federal authorities at the Federal Election Commission and the FBI.

This comes after Special Counsel Robert Mueller identified at least 140 contacts between Trump associates and foreign nationals with links to Russia.

"Most Americans already know that is a foreign adversary reaches out about interfering in our elections, you should report that contact. But after Special Counsel Robert Mueller identified at least 140 contacts between Trump associates and Russian nationals or WikiLeaks, it's clear that some Americans haven't taken that responsibility seriously," said Warner. "In fact, the Trump campaign welcomed the help, and sought to hide that from the American people. This bill would protect the integrity of our democracy by requiring future campaigns to report attempts by foreign nationals to coordinate or collaborate during a political campaign, and by putting campaigns on notice about their obligations."

The legislation would require all campaign officials to report, within one week of the contact, any contacts with foreign nationals who are attempting to make campaign donations or otherwise coordinate with the campaign by proffering information or services.

Campaigns would also have to implement a compliance system to monitor reportable foreign contacts with campaign representatives and to train all new employees and other associates on their legal obligations. The compliance system would have to be certified by the candidate him or herself as well.

Finally, the campaign would be responsible for reporting applicable foreign contacts to the FEC, which will then notify the FBI, and preserve the relevant records regarding the contact.

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