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ODNI and DHS/DOJ Release Reports on Foreign Interference in 2022 Elections

Caleb Benjamin
Tuesday, December 19, 2023, 12:45 PM

The reports found that China and Russia employed information operations to interfere in the elections—albeit unsuccessfully.

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On Dec. 18, the government released two reports on foreign interference attempts in the 2022 elections: the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) published its declassified report, “Intelligence Community Assessment of Foreign Threats to the 2022 U.S. Elections,” and the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security released a declassified overview of a classified report on foreign interference in the 2022 elections. 

Both reports found that foreign actors conducted several forms of election interference, though the ODNI report states that these efforts did not rise to the level of a comprehensive influence campaign by a foreign government. The ODNI report also found more attempts to influence elections in 2022 than in 2018, and that these attempts involved a greater number of foreign actors. Both reports cite Russian and Chinese cyber actors as particularly active in election interference efforts. According to the ODNI report, China demonstrated a willingness to conduct more election interference in 2022 than ever before. The ODNI report also discusses Iranian and Cuban attempts at election interference, though specifics on those efforts are redacted. 

Both reports highlight that there was no evidence of any foreign actor materially affecting any election infrastructure in the 2022 elections. The ODNI report found foreign actors perceive conducting information operations aimed at undermining public confidence in election results as lower risk and higher reward than attempting to materially alter votes.The ODNI report adds that the decentralized nature of the U.S. election system and infrastructure makes it difficult to target.

You can read the ODNI report here and the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security report here. Both can also be read below:










Caleb Benjamin was Lawfare's fall 2023 editorial intern. He holds a B.A. with high honors in government from Dartmouth College.

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