U.S. Probes If Russia Is Targeting Biden in 2020 Election Meddling
U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are assessing whether Russia is trying to undermine Joe Biden in its ongoing disinformation efforts with the former vice president still the front-runner in the race to challenge President Donald Trump, according to two officials familiar with the matter.
The probe comes as senior U.S. officials are warning that Russia’s election interference in 2020 could be more brazen than in the 2016 presidential race or the 2018 midterm election.
Part of the inquiry is to determine whether Russia is trying to weaken Biden by promoting controversy over his past involvement in U.S. policy toward Ukraine while his son worked for an energy company there.
Trump was impeached by the House and faces a trial in the Senate over his pressure on Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden, the early front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, as well as an unsupported theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election.
A Kremlin strategy to undermine Biden would echo its work in 2016, when American intelligence agencies found that Russia carried out a sophisticated operation to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton and ultimately help Trump, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the sensitive matter.